The following is a message from Andy Giacomazzi, interim dean of the School of Public Service.
I am beyond devastated to be sharing the news with you that our friend and colleague, Dr. John Freemuth, passed away suddenly on Saturday, May 2, at the age of 69. I am particularly shocked by this news, as earlier in the week at the semi-annual Andrus Center Board meeting, John was his normal self, animated as ever and full of life, reporting on his recent work in a way that I had seen so many times before. John’s passing is a tremendous loss to our university and beyond.
John was a prolific scholar, influential educator and celebrated member of the Boise State community. As the Cecil Andrus Endowed Chair of Environment and Public Lands, and as the principal investigator of high-profile grants from the United States Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management, John made profound contributions to the conversation surrounding our public lands through his many books, journal articles and presentations. John was recognized as a University Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, and was the recipient of the Professor of the Year for Idaho Award. He even served as a moderator in the Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership and the Western Governors Association collaborative projects on working landscapes and invasive species.
As a trusted and reliable source of expertise and knowledge, John was often sought after by local, state and national news media outlets for his perspective and analysis on issues related to public lands and the interface between public policy and science. And John never hesitated to accommodate such requests, thus becoming a reporter’s “dream-come-true.” John told me years ago that he saw his service in this regard as part of his public service mission – and he was right!
A school-wide celebration of John’s life and career, to be held at a later date, will be coordinated with his family and the Andrus Center for Public Policy. Information on services for John will be announced separately.
I will truly miss John, whose presence on our campus and far beyond will have a lasting impact well into the future. Out of respect for the wishes of John’s family as they grieve together, I ask that you please not contact them directly for a few days. Instead, please join me in sending positive thoughts and prayers their way during this most difficult of times.