I feel truly honored to be serving as interim president of Boise State University.
In 1986, while traveling from Salt Lake City to Seattle, my car broke down in Boise. I’ve often said it was one of the most fortuitous events of my life. It allowed me to become familiar with a university and a city that I would come to treasure.
A few years later I began work at Boise State as a chemistry professor, and during the next 28 years had the privilege of serving as department chair, associate dean, dean and, most recently, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
I have enjoyed working alongside Bob Kustra for the past 15 years and am proud of the milestones reached by our campus community. We have greatly expanded our academic offerings and facilities, always with an eye on keeping education accessible and affordable. The caliber of teaching, learning and research, as well as the physical spaces devoted to that work, are outstanding; and we have done the hard work necessary to improve student retention and graduation rates, work that has earned us national recognition.
In short, we have grown into the metropolitan doctoral research university that we envisioned, and that the valley needs. But we also have redoubled our commitment — I believe in a unique way — to teaching and conducting research with undergraduates. It was a strength when I arrived here and that culture continues to draw outstanding faculty to Boise State, helping us to build a student experience that is second to none.
When the Idaho State Board of Education asked me to serve while they continue the search for our next president, there was only one possible answer. My wife, Maya, and I care deeply about this university and our community.
We will take time this year to reflect and build on our accomplishments, as we explore what it means to be a thriving research university that is connected to business, industry and a growing metropolitan community. I look forward to working with all of you — dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, partners and friends — in sustaining our unique momentum and ensuring the continued success of this great university.