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Strategic Planning

Writing the next chapter in Boise State's history.

Boise State University is embarking on an effort to continue the unique trajectory that has marked our growth and development — from a community college to a four-year university to the doctoral institution with “high research activity” that we have become in recent years.

Just as our then-master’s level university once envisioned the audacious goal of becoming a “metropolitan research university of distinction,” it is time to look toward the unimagined opportunities of the future.

Our trajectory

Dr. Marlene Tromp, Boise State’s president, has identified several areas that are key to the university’s success in the future.

“My hope is that these will help focus our planning process over the coming months and spur creative and innovative thinking about how we can best keep this momentum at the pace that is garnering Boise State attention across the country,” Dr. Tromp says.”I truly believe we will build upon our university’s strengths and the vital work that has already been done.”

Advance the research mission of the university.

Boise State was re-classified by the Carnegie Foundation in 2019 as a Doctoral Research University, High Research Activity (commonly designated as “R2” status). The energy generated by this phenomenal accomplishment will help fuel future efforts to grow at Boise State. We will strive to leverage the strengths of our existing research enterprise and to develop those areas that show the most promise for the future. We recognize the ways in which research fosters not only our service to the world, but our teaching with our students, engaging them in the critical work of knowledge production and helping them to become innovative leaders and thinkers.

Increase the impact of the university.

We must grow our impact on our students and graduates; on our city, state and region; and on public higher education across the country. We offer lifelong, hands-on career and experiential learning, and pair intentional career preparation with competencies such as problem solving, critical thinking and an ability to work effectively as a team. We play a unique role in the economy and culture of the larger community, and are committed to being an impactful partner of business, civic and community organizations in shaping a vibrant future for all of Idaho. Boise State can provide new national leadership in public higher education.

Pursue innovative strategies in teaching, research, and service.

In 2019, Boise State was ranked No. 42 on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of Most Innovative Universities in the nation, moving up seven spots from the previous year. Innovation is in the DNA of Boise State; our intention is to amplify that bold trailblazing spirit and lead the nation in modeling new ways to serve its community and the world. Rather than mimicking other models in higher education, we can develop one that others will want to duplicate because of its success in the full range of ways that universities serve.

Serve rural Idaho students.

Boise State has become a metropolitan research university of distinction, but that does not confine our work to the urban area. Rural populations around the country have been underserved by universities, and our state, with its significant rural population, deserves the best that Boise State can offer. The impact Boise State has made on the lives of individuals in Boise and on the economy and vitality of Idaho can also be brought to our rural communities in new ways. In addition to the Community Impact Program, which collaborates with rural communities to develop the best programs for them, we are developing new internships and hands-on opportunities for rural students to apply their university-acquired skills and competencies in their home regions.

Care for all members of our community.

We are developing new ways to help all members of our community — our staff, faculty and students — see the value of their contributions to one another, to the state and the world beyond. Utilizing all of the tools at our disposal, including professional development, engagement, outreach and support, we will seek to help people grow and thrive, so that their contributions can be felt more powerfully and their impact in the world outside the university can be enhanced.

Enhance and foster pathbreaking interdisciplinarity.

Complex problems are not solved by looking at them through the narrow scope of any single field. Even when they acknowledge this important fact, most research universities collapse back into traditional academic silos. Boise State has resisted this pitfall and has, in fact, created truly transformative interdisciplinary doctoral programs — a goal that eludes most institutions. Not only do such programs provide fresh insights into complex problems, they are also brilliantly efficient, leveraging strengths in a variety of departments and aiding students and faculty to engage more meaningfully across traditional boundaries.