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Video Transcript – 2022 State of the University

Video Transcript

[Announcer] For your safety and convenience, theater exits are located on the left and right sides of the auditorium. In the event of an emergency, please identify and use the exit closest to your location. Thank you for your cooperation and enjoy the show.

[Craig Purdy] Good morning, colleagues. Lady Gaga is known for her collaborations with such pop and jazz titans as Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and Tony Bennett. Imagine, if you will, we had the ability to travel back in time with this legendary icon and songwriter Lady Gaga to witness a musical collaboration between the diva and Johann Sebastian Bach, famed composer of the baroque era. You’re about to hear what the result might sound like. We present to you the “Lady Gaga Fugue,” based on the theme “Bad Romance,” written by Giovanni Dettori and arranged for strings by Larry Moore. Of course, please feel to chuckle.

(audience applauds)

(Orechestra plays “Lady Gaga Fugue”)

(audience applauds)

[Announcer] And now introducing the president of Boise State University, Dr. Marlene Tromp.

[President Tromp] Good morning. Would you please join me again in thanking the Boise State University Chamber Orchestra performing the “Lady Gaga Fugue” under the direction of Craig Purdy.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] Thank you so much, Professor Purdy. I also want to acknowledge our audience online today. It’s delightful to have you all here, whether you are joining us in person or joining us remotely. This is an exceptional moment to celebrate and look forward, but I want to begin on a more sober note, taking some time to recognize the challenges of the last few years all around the country and the world, as well as here at Boise State.

There have been extraordinary hardships and those hardships have taken their toll on the people in our campus community, whether they’re faculty, students, or staff, and on people in the world around us. The great resignation has impacted the ranks of organizations all over the country. COVID has taken an incredible toll on all of our communities.

Some of us have lost loved ones and the political division has been an enormous burden for everyone to navigate through. I want to acknowledge and honor the extraordinary courage and strength it has taken for our community to navigate these choppy and often treacherous waters. I want to acknowledge that in spite of those challenges, we still completed our mission and saw a record number of graduates. Thank you.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] I want to say that we can do even more, we collectively and I can do even better. We will continue to face challenges, but with a clear-eyed focus on our goal, the development of our students, the development of new knowledge, and the development of relationships. In that way, we will continue to have these extraordinary outcomes and continue to become better as a university. I commit today to strive in every way to lead us there.

Let me speak as a professor for a moment. We are in a period of deep polarization and skepticism. We have approached people with the belief borne of the best pedagogical practices that we need to engage people and talk with them, teach them, and learn from them.

I genuinely believe that this has and will continue to move the needle. If we think about the conflict and tumult as being produced in part by the belief that others who think differently inherently mean to cause harm, which is true right now at a scale that the United States has never seen before, then we can learn from research on working across that gap, research that shows that you don’t beat people out of hardened beliefs or simply reason them out of it.

Rather, it is only when you approach them with respect and care that they can open their minds to see other perspectives and that you can see theirs. Teachers and professors have known this for generations.

I want to mention an interesting example that I heard about this summer that’s been going on for quite some time, the Call Russia project, where people who have Russian language proficiency, because Russian numbers are publicly available on the internet, will call Russia, a random number that you can go to a website and collect and try to speak to somebody about the coverage they’re seeing outside of Russia on the war in Ukraine.

Sometimes people are angry. Sometimes people hang up and sometimes people listen. I think no matter the response, there is learning and exchange that happens. I think a university can be a model of that work.

This is real engagement. This is real work and it’s what it often looks like to address challenges and differences of opinion meaningfully. The work of the classroom is in many ways the work of the university. This is how you make space for every single student, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from, and let me emphasize this.

Every single student, every single faculty member, every single staff person, and we invite our students into every major, every major, no matter who they are. I’m proud of the work that we’re doing. I’m proud and excited about the future that lies before us and so much of that has to do with what you’ve already done.

When I first arrived at Boise State and came to this very stage, and this is the first time I’ve been able to return here for this event since then, I talked about my vision.

Today, I am so pleased to say that I’m here to talk about our vision, your accomplishments, your impact. I wanted to focus on your successes and the way you’re making a difference for our students and for the world.

So to give you a heads up, I’m gonna go through all of the divisions of the university in two different ways. That way, if you’re keeping track, you’ll know how far along I am. All of the division’s accomplishments in serving, and secondly, all of their efforts related to Blueprint for Success, which is our guide for all of these efforts.

You are here, all of you, whether you’re here physically or online in these programs and in these efforts, so you will see yourselves in this deck. Everyone else should get to know what you’re doing. And of course, it isn’t everything you’ve done. It’s just a sampling.

Please look for your work. We tried at one point to actually name everyone who was associated with every project and the visuals and the slides just got ridiculous. It was just like, you could barely read any of the writing. And so I want you to be aware that you are here.

You’re gonna see highlights that were shared with me by your leadership. You’re gonna see how you’re changing people’s lives to change the world, but first things first. I would like all of our department chairs, AVPs and unit leaders, deans, vice presidents, and division leaders to please stand.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] I want to thank all of our extraordinary leaders for everything they have done this year, for all the incredible ways that they have led through challenges, and for all the ways in which they’ve been willing to stand up and stand out in front.

It’s a very difficult time to do that and often as leaders, we struggle to know in a complex world what the right decisions are and when we need to back up and think again and how we can drive forward the incredible gifts. There are hard decisions to make and I am so grateful for the leadership of everyone who has done that work in this room. Thank you so much.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] And I am so pleased this morning to welcome to the stage our newest leaders at the university. Somebody, a colleague, a mentor of mine told me once that one of the greatest things leadership of the university can do is hire good new leadership. And I think we’ve done an exceptional job. So I’m delighted to turn the floor over to them to tell you why they chose Boise State.

Thank you, Shawn.

[Shawn Benner] Thank you, Marlene. Good morning. I’m Shawn Benner and I am super excited to be the next Dean of the College and Innovation and Design because of the opportunity to help all of you create the future Boise State. I would like to highlight one of our new initiatives that I think exemplifies the college in its next chapter.

We are creating a space we’re calling the Innovation Incubator. We’ve begun a major renovation of the second floor of the library and we’re creating a space that will build community, support collaboration, and foster creativity.

It’s gonna be your space, a place both where you will gather, where faculty and staff will gather informally, and will host your strategic planning retreats and other events. In addition to being a great place to meet, we’re offering wraparound event planning services, all designed to make your team more successful.

While the remodel won’t be complete for about a year, we’re already open for business. In fact, in the last two weeks, we’ve posted half a dozen strategic planning events for your colleagues from across campus. We’re still in the beta stage with this project, but if you’re interested in participating, please visit the new CID website. Let’s create the future Boise State together. Thank you.

(audience applauds)

[Angie Bos] Good morning. I’m Angie Bos, the new Dean of the School of Public Service. I chose to join Boise State because the mission of the School of Public Service is compelling and more important than ever to train our students to be the next generation of innovative public service leaders and to create cutting edge research to help solve our pressing public problems.

I was drawn to the School of Public Service because of its interdisciplinary design and structure which is unlike other colleges and schools and positions us through research, teaching, public outreach, and experiential learning to solve those terrible public problems you see in the headlines every day. A

nd finally, and most importantly, I joined the Boise State community because of the phenomenal people in the School of Public Service who are pioneering these efforts in public work. Thanks and I look forward to working with you and joining you as a Bronco.

(audience applauds)

[Tod Colegrove] Good morning. I’m Tod Colegrove, Dean of the Albertsons Library, honored to be here with my colleagues today. In response to your question, President Tromp, I have to give you a background.

I come to the Boise State after having served as professor and head of the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library at the University of Nevada Reno for an extended amount of time.

We’ve been watching and had eyes on what Boise State is up to. Put it simply, there is no more thrilling place to be right here, right now on this campus. When you think about it, we bring together literally tens of thousands of the best, the brightest, and the scrappiest, right from across Idaho and around the world, centered around a culture of innovation.

Blue turf thinking, President Tromp, is what brought me to Boise State. The Albertsons Library stands ready to be of service and work with our colleagues as we turn the page on this next chapter of the university.

(audience applauds)

[Leslie Durham] Good morning, everybody. I’m Leslie Durham, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m in my first year as permanent dean of the college and starting my 21st year as a member of this campus community.

(audience applauds)

[Leslie Durham] I know arts and sciences and the university very well and that is why I am absolutely sure there is no place I would rather be.

When I started as interim in 2018, I knew it was not the time for our college to stand still, and we’ve moved forward in innovative and strategic ways thanks to the energy and the ideas of the people in the college and our collaborators all across campus.

I am so excited to see so much of that good work come to fruition in the year ahead as we launch the School of the Environment, reimagine Bronco Gap Year, explore a first year experience, and publicly open the Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary.

It is a tremendously exciting time to be in the college and at Boise State and I feel tremendously honored to be able to work with so many of you. I can’t wait to see what we get to do in the semester ahead and I look forward to working with you.

Have a great semester.

(audience applauds)

[Nancy Glenn] Good morning. Well, this is a hard act to follow. I’m Nancy Glenn. I’m the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and I am so excited to continue in this position on behalf of Boise State for a number of reasons.

First and foremost is you, the talent and the energy and the different disciplines that you represent. I’m also passionate about interdisciplinary research and creative activity, student research experiences that are high impact, rich and high quality, and supporting community and industry partnerships that helps Boise State realize its service, both locally and globally.

I am also very excited as well as our whole division is excited to continue to build our research infrastructure across campus, to serve research and creative activity needs now, to sustain our growth that we’re all feeling, and to strategically place Boise State for the future.

So with that, I welcome you to engage with our division and all of the groups across campus that we work with where we have an open door policy on admin third floor. Please come see us anytime or reach out in any way you would like. And in the meantime, I wish you a wonderful fall semester.

(audience applauds)

[Scott Lowe] Well, good morning, everybody. My name is Scott Lowe and I’m the Interim Dean in the Graduate College. I’ve been with the Graduate College for five years and one of the reasons that I’ve stepped into this role is because we’ve seen tremendous growth, as you all know, in graduate education here at Boise State and I am incredibly excited to see where we are headed in the next five years.

So as you all know, our graduate students are the future leaders, the future thought leaders, the future innovators of our future. They also drive the research engine here at Boise State and I’m really excited to support them together with the graduate college staff, with our graduate faculty, with staff across campus, with all of you. I’m excited to support them, to enable them, and to see where they end up in five years.

Thank you all.

(audience applauds)

[James Satterfield] Good morning. Thank you. My name is James Satterfield and I am the new Dean of the College of Education. I traveled 2,258 miles to be here, and it was worth every mile.

(audience applauds)

I chose Boise State University because of our world class faculty. This is a place where faculty and students are free and supported to tackle the hard problems in this world today.

We are knowledge creators that support every industry. I am proud to lead the College of Education. I am proud to call myself an Idahoan. I now have a driver’s license to prove it. So if you see me, say hello. I will say hello to you. And please join me in welcoming everyone back to the 2022-2023 academic year.

Thank you.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] Thank you so much to our amazing leaders. Wasn’t that incredible? Doesn’t it make you excited?

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] I also want to welcome the dignitaries that we have in the audience today. If we have anyone here who is an elected official, who serves on our state board, who serves public education, would you please rise so we can give you our applause and thanks?

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] I’m grateful for the supporters of higher education that have continued to blaze a path for the university and I want to just say, you know, we often go from July and we hit that August moment and we think, ooh, summer’s already getting over?

And there’s that sort of that exhaustion that you feel like having to dive right back in, especially when we’ve had so many challenging and difficult years for a lot of people, whether that’s personally at home or at work or both. There’s been very little rest.

But when I pulled onto campus at the beginning of this month and I was seeing these folks, these students who were residence hall assistants and were pushing these carts that were stacked with pillows so they could go distribute them in the dorms and I saw young people with their parents looking around at this beautiful campus, thank you to our awesome grounds crew and our facilities folks, because they do such a fantastic job of making it beautiful.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] When I saw that, I felt completely renewed because that is our mission. That is what we are here for. And you saw these incredible new leaders who are gonna drive us forward into the future to serve them better, to serve our faculty better as they do their leading edge, pathbreaking research, which also serves our students and teaches them to be leaders and independent thinkers and to do the incredible service that we do to the state and the world.

So I just wanted to share my sense of excitement and talk about the extraordinary ways that we’ve been doing this work for so much longer than a lot of people realize. Now, what I’m gonna do during this talk, I’m not gonna read to you from my slides. Yeah. Everyone’s like, yay, thank you.

So you guys are gonna have to read fast because I’m gonna cook through these slides, but these slides are gonna be available to you. You’ll be able to find this online so that you can, if you want to go back and look at a fact or figure, you’ll always have it available to you, but I just want to talk to you about the amazing work that we’re doing.

So when you look at the kinds of milestones that this university has reached, we’re in our 90th year. That’s incredible. We’re seeing all of these milestones happening that are showing the impact we have made as a university and the ways in which we are moving forward. I’m gonna move pretty quickly because I wanted to give a lot of time to our new leaders to talk about their sense of why they’re here and the future.

But as I said, I’m gonna go through two times through all of our divisions. What we’re seeing in our College of Arts and Sciences, as you heard from Dean Durham, is that we are open to a variety of perspectives. And that’s what these projects show us, kinds of engagement, different kinds of engagement with our students and with the community around us.

We are opening our arms wide at Boise State to think about how we serve, how we teach, how we research, and we’re breaking down the barriers that have often existed between academic units so we can do things that are truly new and exciting. And we aren’t just getting accolades from our professional bodies, like the College of Business and Economics is for our programs. We are utilizing our programs to help both individuals and organizations thrive and prosper. We are making a difference in people’s lives.

Our College of Innovation and Design is applying complex interdisciplinary approaches to solve problems. And we’ve just heard Dean Benner’s notion that he wants to be that hub that you can come to to work across your units and divisions to begin to think about things in a way that others haven’t even imagined is possible.

Our College of Education is making an impact on people of all ages and all backgrounds, and not just in our own backyard, but around the world. They’re doing incredible service and incredible work. And Dean Satterfield is here to lead that unit forward. Our College of Engineering is celebrating its 25th anniversary under the leadership of Dean Lightly.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] And in that college, we are developing cutting edge programs that profoundly impact the future and give our students exceptional opportunities and bring us new insights.

Our College of Health Sciences, we’ve seen so much evidence of this in the last few years as we’ve navigated the global pandemic. We’ve seen that when the community beyond our walls reaches out to us, Boise State is ready to answer, and they have been such a profound embodiment of that, fundamentally benefiting the people who have called, addressing both mental and physical health, rural and urban areas.

And I thank Dean Dunnagan for that incredible leadership in that work. In our School of Public Service, we are looking at the real challenges, and you heard Dean Bos mention this this morning, the real challenges that affect our lives, that affect our students, that affect our faculty, that affect our staff, our neighbors, and they bring knowledge and researched based solutions to dealing with and addressing those challenges.

I’m also proud of the work that Dean Wheeler and his team has done wherever our students are, and you can see from this slide that they are literally all over the world. Over 5,500 students are studying at Boise State online, whether that’s rural Idaho or New Zealand. And that means the work that we’re doing here is reaching out literally across the world.

Our Honors College, under the leadership of Dean Finstuen, is bringing our students landmark experiences. They’re working in partnership across disciplinary lines, which our Honors College has done from the beginning, and by partnering with organizations and institutions around the nation and around the world.

And our Grad College, under the leadership of Dean Lowe, is working hard to create incredible successes for our students in the largest graduate college in the state of Idaho…

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp]  …with innovative programming that connects graduate students across fields, across disciplines, and with faculty who can support them to do their work, to think their big ideas.

And if there is a theme today in what I’m gonna say to you, it is that we are trailblazing those connections in ways that make new things possible. And when I say connections, I mean connections. We are talking with people, thinking in new ways.

Our faculty talk to each other in all sorts of incredible spaces on this campus. That is pathbreaking. At our Albertsons Library, and I’m especially proud of this right now in the moment that we’re in, we are making it possible for our students to learn on this campus, whatever challenges they face in achieving their dreams, and our library is a critical part of that.

We are always reaching out to do that work more effectively and more meaningfully for both our students and our faculty’s success, and you see some of those ways here. The provost’s office, our unit of Academic Affairs, is building the strategic plan across the university in ways that are gonna move the needle on research, teaching, and service.

And I hear from people all the time that under Provost Buckwalter, they feel this clarity of vision and this driving engagement to move forward as a university. Please stand if you are a part of any of these units, faculty and staff, to receive our thanks and appreciation for your work this last year.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] You can see why it would have been hard to put those names on a slide. I am also so proud of the way that athletics has made innovation and their commitment to the student athlete experience, the poll star for our athletics program.

We’re gonna talk a little bit more about their accomplishments in a moment, but we received, we were ranked the number one program for name, image, and likeness. And if you have been following athletics news, you’ll know that this is a way that student athletes are able to receive endorsements and work with outside organizations so that they can earn money while they’re in school.

And we received the number one ranking for the support we have given our student athletes as they’ve done that work. That’s legal advisement, that’s intellectual support, helping them navigate these complex processes. I am incredibly proud. And I should mention that’s under the leadership of our new AD, Jeramiah Dickey.

I am incredibly proud that under our Vice President, Matthew Ewing, we have our highest one-year total of fundraising in Boise State’s history.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] We’ve looked at the data. We’ve been developing our own analysis. We are working for ways to better serve our 163,000 Bronco alumni. Isn’t that amazing? 163,000.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] We sit right now in one of the most extraordinary facilities on this campus, our Morrison Center, and this summer, I had the privilege of seeing the inaugural Idaho High School Theater Awards in this facility.

And to watch these young people who are the future of what’s happening in the theater and theater arts come on this stage from all over the state was breathtaking. It’s one of those moments where you really see the future, where when you see people that are coming over in high school STEM programs, you see people that are coming over in these arts programs from all over our curriculum, and you see what the future holds, however challenging the struggles are that we face ahead, we know what we’re here for, and it’s for that future and it’s for them.

Our Extramile Arena has done an incredible work of bringing over 40,000 people onto this campus and that’s a part of that connective work that we do together. I’m also proud of the ways that we think as a university. We have consistently been the most financially efficient university in the state.

That’s an extraordinary accomplishment, but our Finance and Administration unit has also been thinking about xeriscaping to help meet our sustainability plans. So we have people who think in broad ways about the university in every unit. And our Human Resources unit is developing new programs to help us move forward together and to help individual people grow in their careers. Critical work.

Our Office of Information Technology is developing research experiences for undergrads. That’s an exciting opportunity for them, using high speed computing.

Our Office of Communications and Marketing, thank you to that team and Lauren Griswold, collaborated with the other universities in the state, and some of you may have seen this, but you may not have and I want to share it with you. We recognized that right now, there’s a lot of skepticism about public education and higher education.

And we thought, we have to tell the story of what’s happening on our campuses so people can get another perspective, so that they’re not concerned that higher education isn’t here for them, but is about service to them.

So let’s take a moment to watch one of the products of this incredible work.

(lively music) (video begins)

Idaho is growing.

But let’s not just grow larger.

Let’s grow smarter.

After high school.

College or university.

Idaho public colleges and universities have the sixth lowest cost of all states.

And higher education means higher incomes.

More opportunities.

A better life for you.

For us.

For Idaho.

For Idaho.

[Narrator] Visit to learn more.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] We believe that the message that higher education doesn’t just benefit the individual, though it does, in profound ways, in ways that are measurable and that impact people for the rest of their lives, it affects all of us when people achieve that educational dream. It impacts communities. It impacts families. It impacts our future, and that’s better for our whole state.

And that was a message, that was a story we wanted to tell with our students across the state united, because to my way of thinking, we want every young person to have access to that opportunity for higher education, whatever they study, wherever they go to school, so that they can have better lives, they can develop their talents, and it can benefit them, their families and their communities.

We wanted that to be the first part of our message in sharing. Our unit of Research and Economic Development is striving, with the support of our faculty, students, and staff, to change the world for the better, both through our findings and through our students’ experiences.

One of the things that we do that’s extraordinarily special at Boise State is our students at all levels, not just our graduate students, are involved in doing research. I often have used the metaphor of if someone is just washing a Petri dish in the lab, they’re not getting the same experience as someone who’s actually a part of conducting the experiment.

Here, that’s the work our students do. So that research is not just fundamental to the growth and wellbeing of our faculty who are then teaching our students, but for engaging those students in ways that really change their lives.

Our Student Affairs has done incredible work to support our students in an incredibly difficult few years and we have Interim VP Whipple to thank for that. And of course, you heard VP Glenn speak earlier in research.

We are on track and I think this is exceptional. So you may know, you may have seen in the news that last year, for the first time, when Idaho enrollment plunged in the wake of the beginning of the pandemic, you may have seen that for the first time, our ratios flipped and we had more, slightly more out-of-state students than we had in-state students.

And while we are delighted to welcome those students here, because most of them end up staying here and giving back to the state of Idaho and being a part of that incredibly talented series of leaders who goes out and helps develop new businesses, lead in nonprofits, do work in our communities, we want to serve young people in Idaho, and that was such a priority that we redirected resources to support in-state students.

And we are on track to see an approximately 20% increase in the number of Idaho students coming to Boise State this fall.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] I’m also incredibly proud of the work that’s been done in University Affairs under VP Estey. When we were facing challenges, VP Estey stood up a COVID testing and then vaccination clinic to serve our community. There wasn’t a roadmap for that work.

There wasn’t a way in which anyone could look at what had been done before to address this kind of crisis. She built it herself. She won with her amazing team over one and a half million dollars in grants to support it and it helped make it possible for us to teach research and serve safely and together.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] Now, if you were a part of one of those units that I mentioned in the second half, may I please ask you to stand to receive our applause and gratitude?

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] Thank you so much. I am so excited to talk to you about Blueprint for Success. We’ve built a plan that thinks explicitly, consciously, and intentionally about how we ensure broad access to our university and the success of students once they arrive.

We wanted to think about how we could be more innovative as a university, and really, in the tradition of our own history, how we could cast aside whatever the way it’s always been done or whatever the models are that are out there to just think about what will work best for us, for our students, for our faculty, for our staff, and for our community.

And we’ve done this in a number of ways that you see mentioned here. We wanted to think about how we would drive forward new research and creative activity, because that is an engine in the university for that innovation, for that growth, for that development for us and for our students.

We wanted to foster a thriving community and that’s part of the reason that we are now launching a new search for an entirely new position, a Chief Human Resources Officer. We’ve always had a Director of Human Resources, and thank you to Catherine Weitz for her leadership there, but we face new challenges and in a time of the great resignation and in a time where we’re thinking in new ways at the federal level and the state level about how to do HR, it was so critical to have this position.

And when we saw people experiencing the strain of the things that we had seen earlier, we knew this position was vital. So we are launching this search for this person and we are thinking in new ways on campus about how we can serve, how we can create community, and how we can connect with and support one another.

One of the special ways that we are doing this, connecting with our community, creating those connections I talked about, is through a new project under our Institute for Advancing American Values We’ve launched with philanthropist Greg Carr a program called Idaho Listens.

There’s a whole body of scholarship on listening and what it teaches us is that when we are able to truly listen to one another, it begins to make new things possible. This is one of the reasons that if you take a research team, there’s fascinating research on this, if you take a research team and you make that research team incredibly diverse in every conceivable way, people from different parts of the world, people from different disciplines, people from different backgrounds, the more diverse that team, the more impactful their outcomes and the more citations those articles get.

And the reason is they challenge each other’s thinking. They disrupt the way that other people might think who have very similar backgrounds or very similar ways of thinking. Idaho Listens is a part of a kind of hope for the future, that if we can learn from and listen to each other, we will become better.

(video begins playing)

[Speaker 1] I’ve been a financial service professional for over 28 years. Me and Ellie get out at least once a week and hit the foothill trails along the river. I love this community. I’ve loved it for over 40 years.

[Speaker 2] I’m the pastry chef here. I get to work with really incredible people and we bring more than our skills and our talents. We bring our personality into what we do.

[Speaker 3] We’re considered a row crop operation in that we focus on our potatoes, our onions. We do carrot seed, beans, corn. We also do wheat and we do some popcorn seed. Just a regular guy. Yeah. I mean, I go to church. I have a family. I love my wife. I love my kids. I love what I do and that I can help feed people.

[Speaker 4] I am a warrior, a worrier, a mom, a voter, a veteran, a gardener, a poet, a writer, and a Jew, and more. And a lot of times I feel like the labels we carry are the labels people have given us and it has nothing to do with how we see ourselves.

[Narrator] We all have our own story about life in Idaho, but we often don’t hear those stories. Philanthropist Greg Carr and Boise State University are inviting a dozen everyday Idahoans to talk about their Idaho lives, their Idaho values, and the audience will have to promise to listen, not question, not interrupt, not cheer, just listen.

[Speaker 2] I don’t need the people around me to agree with me. What I need or what I really desire is just to be seen, for my experience to be validated.

[Speaker 1] There was a time when we could be Democrats and we could be Republicans, but at the end, we can go have a beer and still be friends. But it’s today, we are just so divided. I think a lot of it has to do with media, internet, social media, but we have to find a better way to come together.

[Speaker 4] At sundown, we are all lighting Shabbats candles, all the women in Jewish households that practice at that time. There’s a huge amount of light going into the world. It is a really beautiful thing.

[S[eaker 3] I would say my positions are right-leaning, but I think that’s where we need to listen to each other and understand why our positions are what they are. I think we need to step back and realize that at the end of the day, we’re all humans. We are all seeking the same outcome, happiness, joy, peace, love, and the politics today are driving a wedge further and further in between that.

[Narrator] What happens when we step out of our professional or political or social media bubbles, when we choose to reserve judgment? What happens when Idaho listens?

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] I want to take a moment to affirm something that the provost’s office and president’s office has been talking with faculty about for the last couple of years.

We want our students, faculty, and staff working on the hard questions, on the intractable problems in spaces where there are differences of opinion, where people do not agree, and being unafraid to go into those places, because that is the work of higher education.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] We don’t expect for people to always agree or for our students to share one another’s opinions, but we do expect to create an environment where those meaningful and rich conversations can take place. And I am so grateful to be a part of a community where we have the courage to continue doing that work and I thank you all for that.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] Now, what I’m gonna do next, this is the second time that I’m gonna move swiftly. Everyone’s like, please, for God sakes, Marlene, move swiftly. I’m gonna move swiftly and let you see some of the accomplishments under Blueprint for Success that have been occurring.

Our last, of course, our fifth goal is trailblazing programs and partnerships. And you’re gonna see evidence of those five goals. And I could draw the lines for you. It would make an incredibly complex web where you would see that many of these projects fulfill all five, but I’m gonna move through those same units and give you a sense.

This is, again, information from our vice presidents and deans about the things they are most proud of. You heard some of our leaders talk about this on the stage today. Created incredible new programming. We’ve done incredible work across the university.

We’ve created hubs for leadership, excellence, thinking. We’ve secured new spaces on the campus. We’ve grown the things that need to grow to serve our students and serve the state. We have made an impact all over the world.

And every time I get to say we’re actually doing better on this than Harvard, I love that and it’s a part of that scrappy trailblazing spirit that has always been a fundamental part of Boise State and I loved toting around those slides that showed how many more fellows we got than Harvard did.

We have been doing incredible work with our students and around the state and with that vision of the strategic plan.

And one of the most extraordinary things about that strategic plan is that when our accrediting body came to visit us in Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and we have people who have been doing this work at universities and colleges and community colleges all over the country, because the accrediting bodies used to be regional and now they serve the entire nation.

Anyone can go to any accrediting body. When they came here, they interviewed people from all over campus and they walked away and said they had never seen a university community with more solidarity and alignment to a strategic plan in the entire time they’d been doing reviews. That’s because of you. Thank you.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] All of these accomplishments that you are seeing move swiftly before you, all of these accomplishments, that record-breaking research year, all of these new things that are happening are happening in part because we have been able to set our sights on a set of clear goals.

And I’ve had people say to me, you know, our department chair is even talking about Blueprint for Success and how we’re making decisions in alignment with that. I’ve heard faculty say, oh, this’ll fit in with that goal. That kind of alignment makes us all stronger.

If we do projects independently that are amazing, that’s amazing. That’s incredible. It does good things for the world. But when we work together, what we can accomplish is exceptionally amplified. And that’s how we get to what our trajectory is. We are creating new facilities to serve our campus, including a new residence hall, because right now, isn’t that amazing?

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] Housing is one of the greatest challenges in Boise right now and we need to ensure that our students have a safe and affordable place to live. And we’re working with our community as well.

We’re creating new buildings on campus that are allowing us to work across disciplinary lines and our impact isn’t just on the individuals or on the community with the new knowledge.

Our impact can be felt economically in profound ways. We have one of the most incredible ROIs in this state. A recent study conducted by the state board of education found that for every appropriated dollar, for every appropriated dollar, Boise State returns a $24 impact. Isn’t that incredible?

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] And our impact is being felt in ways that are unbelievable across this state. When we graduate over 5,000 students, in that spring commencement that we had in May, we’re seeing the kind of impact you’re seeing on this slide right now.

We’re seeing thousands of people who are taking the experiences that you’ve given them and going out and making their mark in the world. That makes this one of the most incredible jobs to do in the world.

We are poised to launch the largest comprehensive campaign in this university’s history and that’s because what we are doing right now is a focus of shared excitement across the state and the country and the people who care about us, our friends, our alumni, even the people within our own community are so excited about what we’re doing. They want to help make it possible.

And we’re gonna focus this campaign in ways that allow us to bring in resources in these areas. And then that gives the freedom to divert the resources we were dedicating in those areas to other parts of the university. It’s an exceptional time to be a Bronco.

Today, you’ll have the opportunity to take in your hands as you leave, and for folks who are streaming online, you’ll have a chance to get this in through inter-campus mail, our Blueprint for Success as a printed document.

The shared enthusiasm, the shared intellectual excitement about where we’re going is something we can reflect on through this document and we can use this document that you created, thousands of people participated in the creation of our strategic plan, that you created to drive forward this great university to its next extraordinary successes.

You’ll be able to have that in your hand today as you leave. Finally, I just want to say that it has been the greatest honor of my life for the last three years to serve as your president. My mother, who many of you have had the opportunity to see at events, will turn 95 this year…

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] …and she and my son are the people who live with me. And I told my mother what I was coming to do today at work and she said, “I am so proud of the work that you do “and I am so grateful for the extraordinary community “for which you work.”

So I want to pass on my mother’s thanks and to tell you that whatever challenges we face, we face them together and we will develop creative and meaningful solutions to solve the problems that are before us and we will together do incredible things and I am so happy to be embarking on this fourth year with you. Go Broncos.

(audience applauds)

[President Tromp] Thank you. Thank you. I’m delighted to invite you to join us for the President’s Picnic on The Quad. Thank you so much, everybody. Have a great semester.

(audience applauds)


♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh ♪ ♪ Caught in a bad romance ♪ ♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh ♪ ♪ Caught in a bad romance ♪ ♪ Rah, rah-ah-ah-ah ♪ ♪ Roma, roma-ma ♪ ♪ Gaga, ooh-la-la ♪ ♪ Want your bad romance ♪ ♪ Rah, rah-ah-ah-ah ♪ ♪ Roma, roma-ma ♪ ♪ Gaga, ooh-la-la ♪