Bob Kustra on Dialogue


PRESENTATION OF “DIALOGUE” ON
IDAHO PUBLIC TELEVISION IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS
SUPPORT OF THE LAURA MOORE CUNNINGHAM FOUNDATION, COMMITTED
TO FULFILLING THE MOORE FAMILY’S LEGACY OF BUILDING THE GREAT
STATE OF IDAHO. COMING UP, HE’S BEEN AT THE HELM
OF IDAHO’S LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY FOR ALMOST A DECADE. A CONVERSATION WITH BOISE STATE
PRESIDENT BOB KUSTRA ABOUT THE CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF HIGHER
EDUCATION IN THE 21st CENTURY. THAT’S “DIALOGUE,” NEXT. STAY TUNED. HELLO, AND WELCOME TO
“DIALOGUE.” I’M MARCIA FRANKLIN. WHEN BOB KUSTRA ARRIVED AT BOISE
STATE UNIVERSITY IN 2003 AS ITS 6th PRESIDENT, IT WAS WITH AN
AMBITIOUS AGENDA TO BOOST THE SCHOOL’S RESOURCES, OUTPUT AND
REPUTATION. NEARLY TEN YEARS LATER, WHAT’S
BEEN ACHIEVED, AND WHAT CHALLENGES STILL REMAIN? JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT HIGHER
EDUCATION AT BOISE STATE AND BEYOND IS BOB KUSTRA. WELCOME. DR. KUSTRA, WHO HAS A PH.D IN
POLITICAL SCIENCE, CAME TO BOISE STATE FROM THE MIDWESTERN HIGHER
EDUCATION COMMISSION, WHERE HE WAS PRESIDENT. HE ALSO SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF
EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY. NOW, BEFORE ACADEMIA, CAME
POLITICS. PRESIDENT KUSTRA SERVED TWO
TERMS AS THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS AND TEN YEARS IN THE
ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE. HE NOW OVERSEES AN INSTITUTION
WITH MORE THAN 20,000 STUDENTS AND 2400 STAFF, INCLUDING MORE
THAN 670 INSTRUCTORS. THE ANNUAL BUDGET OF BOISE STATE
UNIVERSITY IS NEARLY $405 MILLION. THAT’S $180 MILLION MORE THAN
WHEN PRESIDENT KUSTRA ARRIVED. TEN YEARS. DOES IT SEEM LIKE ALMOST TEN
YEARS?>>NO, IT DOESN’T. I REMEMBER WHEN I HIT THE FIVE
YEAR MARK THE PRESS REMANDED ME THAT WHEN I CAME I SAID I WOULD
STAY ONLY FIVE YEARS. THEY WONDERED WHAT I WOULD DO
NEXT. I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS GOING TO GO
THIS FAST.>>YOU MUST LIKE IT.>>IT’S THE BEST JOB I HAVE EVER
HAD OF ANYTHING I HAVE EVER DONE.>>I MENTIONED THAT BUDGET
NUMBER. FISCAL YEAR, $223.9 MILLION WHEN
YOU ARRIVED. FISCAL 2013, $404.9 MILLION. THAT’S A HUGE DIFFERENCE. WE KNOW IT’S NOT COMING FROM
GENERAL FUND SUPPORT, THE STATE. THAT FUNDING HAS BEEN STATIC IN
2002 YOU GOT AROUND $74 MILLION N.2013 FROM THE STATE IF WE CAN
PUT THAT UP, GENERAL FUND SUPPORT, $74.5 MILLION. IT’S NOT COMING FROM THE STATE
SUPPORT.>>ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT
THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WE’RE SERVING NOW AS OPPOSED TO TEN
YEARS AGO. CLEARLY, THE INCREASED FUNDING
IS COMING FROM TUITION, FROM RESEARCH DOLLARS, AND OTHER
AREAS. TUITION AND RESEARCH MAKES UP
MOST OF IT.>>BUT WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE
STATE? SHOULD IT GIVE YOU MORE MONEY?>>THERE’S NO QUESTION. ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES IN HIGHER
EDUCATION, THE PRESIDENTS OF IDAHO’S PUBLIC COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITIES, WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE A STRONG CASE, AND WE HAVE
MADE A STRONG CASE FOR THE FACT THAT IF WE’RE GOING TO VALUE
HIGHER EDUCATION AS A PUBLIC GOOD IN THIS COUNTRY AND IN THIS
STATE, THEN WE CAN’T ALLOW HIGHER EDUCATION TO SLIP TO THE
VERY LAST PRIORITY EVERY STATE BUDGET SESSION. THAT’S REALLY WHAT’S HAPPENED
HERE IN IDAHO. IN FAIRNESS IT’S HAPPENED ABOUT
IN 49 OTHER STATES AS WELL, BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT.>>FEDERAL SUPPORT IS ONE AREA
THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THAT GROWTH. WE HAVE SOME STUNNING FIGURES. 2002, 44.1 MILLION. FISCAL YEAR 2014, $117.7 MILLION
IN FEDERAL GRANTS AND CONTRACTS, A LOT OF THEM FOR RESEARCH INTO
THE SCIENCES. DO YOU THINK THIS IS SUSTAINABLE
WITH THE STIMULUS GOING AWAY AND FISCAL ISSUES ON THE FEDERAL
LEVEL? THIS AMOUNT OF FEDERAL MONEY?>>THAT’S A VERY GOOD QUESTION. I DON’T THINK WE HAVE A COMPLETE
ANSWER TO THAT. IS THINK IT’S SUSTAINABLE FOR US
BECAUSE WE’RE STILL GROWING OUR GRADUATE PROGRAMMING, ATTRACTING
AND RECRUITING NEW FACULTY. EVERY MEMBER THAT COMES IN
BRINGS HIS OR HER OWN RESEARCH AGENDA. WE’RE GOING TO BE OKAY BECAUSE
WE’RE GROWING, BUT SOME OF THE UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE MORE
TRADITIONAL AND CAN’T JUSTIFY GROWTH IN NUMBERS OF FACULTY,
THEY MAY WELL SEE SOME OF THEIR GRANTS DROP OFF BECAUSE WE HAVE
BEEN TOLD THAT WHEN THEY START CUTTING OUT IN WASHINGTON TO
AVOID THE FISCAL CLIFF, THE NSF, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
COULD TAKE A HIT AS WELL.>>YOU HAVE A FIRM IN D.C. THAT
HELPS KEEP YOUR PROFILE UP.>>YES. IT’S BEEN VERY HELPFUL. NO QUESTION OUR PRINCIPAL
INVESTIGATORS AND THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR IS NOTHING MORE
THAN THE LEAD FACULTY MEMBER ON A GRANT, THIS FIRM PUTS THOSE
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS IN TOUCH WITH THE VARIOUS AGENCIES WHERE
THEY COULD LIKELY GET THE FUNDING TO DO WHAT THEY WANT TO
IN PURSUING THEIR RESEARCH.>>YOU’VE MADE RESEARCH MORE
PH.D, MORE GRADUATE PROGRAMS A HALLMARK OF YOUR TENURE. ARE YOU EVER CONCERNED ABOUT
WHAT MIGHT — SOME MIGHT CALL THE MON ITYIZATION OF EDUCATION? CERTAIN THINGS GET MORE MONEY
THAN OTHERS. ENGINEERING, THE SCIENCES, NOT
SO MUCH THE HUMANITIES. DOES THAT WORRY YOU?>>IT DOES. THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT WHEN YOU
GO TO THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION YOU’RE NOT GOING TO
GET A LOT OF MONEY FOR THE HUMANITIES. WHAT WE HAVE TO DO WHEN IT COMES
TO THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES IS DEPEND ON PRIVATE GIVING. BEFORE WHEN WE WERE TALKING
ABOUT WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MONEY AT BOISE STATE, WE DID A
CAMPAIGN FOR FIVE YEARS AND CAME UP WITH $186 MILLION.>>BUT ONLY 2 MILLION IN THE
SOCIAL SCIENCES.>>IT’S DEFINITELY LOWER THAN
THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS. THE BUILDING WAS BUILT WITH THAT
CAMPAIGN. IT’S TOUGHER TO GET MONEY FOR
THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES, BUT MONEY FORT ARTS AND HUMANITIES
IS OUT THERE, IT’S JUST GOING TO COME MORE LIKELY FROM PRIVATE
DONORS, PRIVATE GIVING, FOUNDATIONS. WE JUST EMPLOYED A NEW VICE
PRESIDENT FOR UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT WHO HAS AS ONE OF
HER TOP PRIORITIES WORKING WITH OUR CORPORATE AND FOUNDATIONS
DIRECTOR TO FIND THE FOUNDATIONS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN
CONTRIBUTING TO UNIVERSITIES WHEN IT COMES TO THE ARTS A
HADN’T HUMANITIES. AS YOU KNOW, MARCIA, I HAVE THE
ARTS AND HUMANITIES INSTITUTE ONE OF MY PRIME OBJECTIVES OF MY
PRESIDENCY. WE HAVE SOME OF THE PROGRAMMING
IN PLACE BUT WE DON’T HAVE THE FACILITY TO DO IT JUSTICE. THAT’S ONE OF MY NEXT STEPS IN
THIS JOB.>>ALONG THE LINES OF THIS ISSUE
OF NEEDING MORE MONEY, A LOT OF YOUR BUILDINGS ARE IN DOUBT. I KNOW IT’S A PRIORITY FOR YOU
TO GET MORE PROFESSORSHIPS AND CHAIRS ENDOWED. RELATED TO ME PREVIOUS QUESTION,
WHAT’S THE TIPPING POINT WHERE THE MONEY THAT COMES IN IS SO
TIED TO AN INDUSTRY OR PERSON OR POINT OF VIEW THAT A PROFESSOR
OR STUDENT DOESN’T FEEL THEY COULD DO RESEARCH THAT COULD
POTENTIALLY BE CRITICAL OF THAT ENTITY? YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MONEY ANY
PLACE YOU CAN, OF COURSE.>>RIGHT.>>SO HOW DO YOU FACTOR THAT IN?>>THIS IS AN ISSUE RAISED
ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN HIGHER EDUCATION. IT’S PROBABLY A MUCH MORE
DIFFICULT ISSUE FOR THE LARGER PUBLIC RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES IN
AMERICA. THEIR FACULTIES HAVE COMPLAINED
ABOUT THIS MANY TIMES OVER. THE FACT IS AT BOISE STATE WE
HAVE REALLY NEVER BEEN IN A POSITION WHERE WE HAVE HAD TO
WORRY ABOUT A COMPANY COMING IN, GIVING US MONEY, THEN SAYING AT
THE SAME TIME, NOW LOOK, YOU HAVE TO LAY OFF ANY CRITICISM OF
WHAT WE DO. OCCASIONALLY OUR FACULTY WILL,
AND THAT’S THEIR RIGHT, MAKE COMMENTS, PUBLISH RESEARCH
PAPERS, WHATEVER THEY WANT TO DO THAT’S CRITICAL OF AMERICAN
INDUSTRY.>>SO YOUR BUSINESS BUILDING,
WHICH IS PAID FOR WITH MONEY FROM —
[AUDIO NOT UNDERSTANDABLE] IN IF A PROFESSOR WANTED TO LOOK
AT THAT PARTICULAR INDUSTRY –>>THAT’S CALLED ACADEMIC
FREEDOM AND WE NEVER STEP IN THE WAY OF A PROFESSOR’S FREEDOM TO
PUBLISH WHAT HE OR SHE THINKS IS APPROPRIATE. WE HAVE NEVER REALLY SINCE I
HAVE BEEN HERE HAD A PROBLEM WITH THAT.>>TALK TO ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
YOUR EMPHASIS ON GETTING MORE PH.D PROGRAMS, BECOMING A
RESEARCH INSTITUTION OF DISTINCTION, ALSO ALL THE OTHER
PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING THROUGH GETTING A GENERAL EDUCATION AND
THE GRADUATION RATE. AT THE SAME TIME THAT YOU’RE
BRINGING IN MORE RESEARCH AND HIGHER END STUDENTS AND
PROFESSORS, THE DOLLAR HAS NOT MOVED ALL THAT MUCH ON THE
GRADUATION RATE AT BOISE STATE. I BELIEVE THE FOUR YEAR RATE IS
8%, THE SIX YEAR RATE IS 6%. A THIRD OF PEOPLE SIX YEARS
LATER ARE GRADUATING. I KNOW THAT NUMBER HAS BEEN OF
CONCERN TO YOU.>>RIGHT. WHY IS IT NOT MOVING?>>WELL, AGAIN, THE COHORT IS
WHAT WE FOLLOW.>>WE’RE SEEING STUDENT
ENROLLMENT BUT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT GRACIOUS RATES.>>THE COHORT IS WHAT WE FOLLOW. THE COHORT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT
SIX YEARS OUT SO WE’RE GOING BACK A GOOD NUMBER OF YEARS. FOR ONE THING WE HAD A COMMUNITY
COLLEGE EMBEDDED WITHIN BOISE STATE FOR YEARS. JUST RECENTLY THE COLLEGE OF
WESTERN IDAHO WAS CREATED SO THOSE STUDENTS WHO WENT INTO
BOISE STATE AS FIRST YEAR FULL-TIME STUDENTS AND THEN
LEFT, THEY WEREN’T COUNTED. IN FACT THAT’S THE BIGGEST
PROBLEM ABOUT THAT STATISTIC, THAT METRIC, IS THAT IT LEECHES
OUT SO MANY STUDENTS. SAY A STUDENT TRANSFERS INTO
BOISE STATE. WE HAD OVER 1,000 STUDENTS
TRANSFER IN THIS FALL. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE
COUNTED. WHEN THEY GRADUATE THEY WILL NOT
BE COUNTED IN THE GRADUATION RATE BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE THAT
ORIGINAL COHORT OF FIRST YEAR FULL-TIME STUDENTS. YOU MISS A LOT OF STUDENTS THAT
WAY. SO NATIONALLY THERE’S A GREAT
ARGUMENT GOING ON NOW WITH THE IPEDS, THE FEDERAL AGENCY THAT
KEEPS TRACK OF THESE NUMBERS. THEIR ARGUMENT IS THAT YOU HAVE
TO FIND A BETTER WAY OF TRACKING STUDENTS TO GIVE UNIVERSITIES
CREDIT FOR STUDENTS. AGAIN, THOSE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
STUDENTS THAT FOR SO MANY YEARS WE PROCESSED AND LEFT AFTER TWO
YEARS, THAT WAS NEVER COUNTED AS A STUDENT THAT GRADUATED.>>EVEN IF THOSE STUDENTS WERE
COUNTED, THE NUMBER I’M GUESSING FOR YOU AS AN ADMINISTRATOR IS
STILL LOW. WHAT’S GOING ON THAT OUR
GRADUATION RATES ARE SO LOW, PARTICULARLY IN METROPOLITAN
INSTITUTIONS, BUT ALSO WE HAVE THIS GOAL COMING UP HERE, THE
STATE BOARD HAS ENDORSED, OF 60% OF IDAHOANS 25 TO 34 YEARS OLD
BY 20/20 SHOULD HAVE SOME SORT OF DEGREE.>>BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY IS THE
ONLY UNIVERSITY THAT’S AHEAD OF ITS ANNUAL METRIC IN TERMS OF
ACHIEVING THAT GOAL BY 20/20. WE WILL HAVE NO PROBLEM REACHING
THAT GOAL. SOME OF OUR SISTER INSTITUTIONS
ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO MEET THAT NUMBER. WHAT’S GOING ON, TO ANSWER YOUR
QUESTION, IS REALLY A CULTURAL ISSUE FOR METROPOLITAN
UNIVERSITIES. OBVIOUSLY, PEOPLE WHO COME TO
METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITIES ARE WORKING FULL-TIME, MORE OFTEN
THAN THEY ARE IN SMALL, RURAL, RESIDENTIAL COLLEGES. YOU GO OFF TO COLLEGE AT A SMALL
RURAL RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL THERE’S NOT MUCH TO DO BUT GO TO SCHOOL
FOR FOUR YEARS AND MOVE ON. IF YOU GO TO SCHOOL IN BOISE YOU
CAN TAKE A COURSE ONCE A SEMESTER, MAYBE TWO THE NEXT
SEMESTER AND OVER SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS GRADUATE. I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MANY PEOPLE
IN BOISE MANAGED TO GET THROUGH BOISE STATE IN THAT FASHION. ESPECIALLY IN THIS ERA, WITH
STUDENTS WHO DON’T HAVE THE PRESSURE I HAD WHEN I WENT TO
SCHOOL, IF I HAD GONE HOME TO MY PARENTS AFTER FOUR YEARS AND
SAID, HEY, MOM AND DAD, IT’S GOING TO TAKE AN EXTRA SEMESTER,
THEY WOULD HAVE KICKED ME OUT OF THE HOUSE. THEY CERTAINLY WEREN’T GOING TO
PAY FOR T. STUDENTS HAVE ALREADY CUT THIS DEAL WITH THEIR
PARENTS, YOU KNOW, IT MIGHT TAKE FIVE, SIX, IN FACT OUR
CALIFORNIA KIDS WHO ARE COMING TO US NOW, THEY ARE BEING TOLD
IN THE CAL STATE SYSTEM THAT IT’S GOING TO TAKE I THINK FIVE
AND A HALF YEARS TO GET OUT OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE SYSTEM. SO THEY COME TO US BECAUSE WE
HAVE A FINISH IN FOUR PROGRAM WHERE IF THEY SIGN UP AND SAY
THEY WANT OUT IN FOUR YEARS WE’LL GET THEM OUT IN FOUR
YEARS.>>YOU HAVE A BOTTLENECK. I HAVE TALKED TO A NUMBER OF
PEOPLE WHO SAY I WISH I COULD HAVE GRADUATED SOONER BUT I
COULDN’T GET THIS CLASS FOR LIKE A YEAR PLUS.>>RIGHT.>>YOU HAVEN’T ADDED ALL THAT
MANY PROFESSORS IN LINE WITH AS MANY STUDENTS AS YOU HAVE I’M
SURE BECAUSE OF FUNDING ISSUES.>>RIGHT.>>PEOPLE AREN’T BEING ABLE TO
GET THROUGH IN TIME.>>BY THE WAY, THE BOTTLENECK
ISSUE IS ONE THAT ISN’T AS SERIOUS AS IT WAS LAST YEAR AND
NOT AS SERIOUS LAST YEAR AS THE YEAR BEFORE. OUR BIGGEST BOTTLENECK PROBLEM
WAS AROUND 2009 AND 2010. WE STARTED HIRING MORE ADJUNCT
FACULTY, MORE FULL-TIME LECTURERS. THAT’S ONE OF THE NEWER
INVENTIONS, SOMEBODY WHO TEACHES 12 HOURS.>>THEY ARE ADJUNCT, BASICALLY.>>BUT THEY ARE FULL-TIME WITH
BENEFITS.>>DO THEY?>>THEY DO. FOR A LONG TIME HIGHER ED WAS
CRITICIZED FOR USING PEOPLE, NOT GIVING THEM ANY BENEFITS. THAT’S THE REASON WHY SOME OF
THOSE BOTTLENECK COURSES ARE NOW BEING ADDRESSED. ONLINE EDUCATION IS THE OTHER.>>THANK YOU FOR SEGUEING. WE SEE A PERSON IN FRONT OF
WHITE BOARD. THIS NEW SYSTEM OF MASSIVE OPEN
ONLINE COURSES, WE SEE COURSE SERA, ED EX. YOU’VE WRITTEN A COUPLE OF
DIFFERENT THINGS ON THIS AND I’M TRYING TO GET A BEA BEAD ON
WHERE YOU FALL N. ONE OF YOUR COMMENTS YOU SAID WE HAVE TO
FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE. COME UP WITH A WAY TO GET SOME
COURSES ONLINE. THEN SOMETHING ELSE WHERE YOU
SAID, ESPECIALLY WE NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON OTHER THINGS. WE CAN ENCOURAGE OUR STUDENTS TO
SIGN UP FOR THESE BUT WE CAN’T SPEND A LOT OF RESOURCE ON IT. WHERE DO YOU COME DOWN? WILL BOISE STATE JOIN ONE OF
THESE?>>ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK WE
NEED TO DO AND I THINK COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY JUST FIGURED
OUT A WAY TO DO THIS, WE HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THESE MOOKS. IF IF THEY ARE REAL AND WE CAN
DIRECT OUR STUDENTS TO IT, WHY NOT TELL A STUDENT, HEY, THERE’S
AN INTRO CLASS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE. GIVE THEM A CREDIT FOR IT. ABSOLUTELY. THAT’S WHAT COLORADO STATE JUST
FIGURED OUT A FIEWS FEW WEEKS AGO. THAT’S A BRILLIANT IDEA. WHY SHOULD WE DUPLICATE WHAT A
STUDENT CAN GET ONLINE WHEN IN FACT WE CAN COVER IT FOR THEM
AND GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR T. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THEY JUMP
THROUGH THE RIGHT HOOPS, THAT THERE’S SOME KIND OF
STANDARDIZED TESTING PROCEDURE SO WE CAN VERIFY THEY TOOK WHAT
THEY SAID THEY TOOK OR THE UNIVERSITY WHEREVER IT IS
VERIFIES IT, BUT I LIKE THIS IDEA. OF USING SOME OF THESE TO
BENEFIT OUR STUDENTS AS THEY MOVE THROUGH THE PIPELINE.>>ON THE SAME ISSUE OF ONLINE
EDUCATION, WE SAW A BIG DUSTUP AT THE ELECTIONS OVER THE LAWS
ONE OF WHICH REQUIRED ONLINE COURSES. AS BOTH AN ADMINISTRATOR AND
SOMEBODY WHO HAS BEEN IN PUBLIC OFFICE AS YOU WERE, WERE YOU
GLAD TO SEE THOSE DEFEATED AT THE POLLS? WAS IT GOING TO AFFECT YOUR —
>>IT’S NOT GOING TO AFFECT WHAT WE DO.>>AS AN EDUCATION ADMINISTRATOR
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THEM?>>I THINK IT’S UNFORTUNATE IF
ANYONE IN THE STATE OF IDAHO OR BEYOND DEVELOPS THE ATTITUDE, WE
DON THINK TECHNOLOGY HAS A ROLE IN EDUCATION. IT DOES. IT’S WORKING RIGHT NOW IN THE
STATE OF IDAHO. IT’S WORKING IN 49 OTHER STATES
AND WORKS AT BOISE STATE. 25% OF OUR STUDENTS ARE TAKING
AT LEAST ONE ONLINE COURSE. THAT’S GOING TO INCREASE OVER
THE COMING YEARS AS WE FIND MORE AND MORE WAYS TO DEVELOP THOSE
INTRODUCTORY COURSES. THE INTRODUCTORY COURSES ARE
VERY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE UPPER DIVISION COURSES WHERE YOU WANT
THE CONTACT WITH THE FACULTY MEMBER, THE MENTORING, WHERE YOU
WANT THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE IN SEMINAR LIKE THINKING AND
DECISION MAKING. IN THE INTRODUCTORY COURSES IT’S
SO EASY TO DO THAT IN SOME MASS FASHION. BY THE WAY, THE UNIVERSITY OF
IDAHO YEARS AGO WAS GIVEN A GRANT BY THE PEW CHARITABLE
TRUST FOUNDATION TO DO JUST THIS AND THEY ARE STILL OPERATING ONE
OF THEIR BASIC MATH COURSES IN SOME KIND OF LARGE ROOM WHERE
EVERYBODY HAS A COMPUTER AND THEY ARE TAKING THEIR COURSES
ONLINE WITH SOME GRADUATE ASSISTANTS AROUND THE ROOM.>>DID YOU TAKE A POSITION ON
THOSE?>>I DID NOT. THAT’S A MATTER FOR K-12. THE PRESIDENTS, WE TALKED ABOUT
IT AND WE ALL DECIDED TAKE IT’S VERY DIFFICULT. WE ALL HAVE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION
WHO PRODUCE TEACHERS. WE BELIEVE IN OUR TEACHERS. THE LAST THING WE WANT TO DO IS
GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INTRAMURAL FIGHT BETWEEN SCHOOL
BOARDS AND TEACHERS AND SUPERINTENDENT LUNA AND
WHATEVER. THAT DID NOT HAVE A VERY GOOD
FUTURE FOR ANY OF OUR UNIVERSITIES. WE STAYED OUT OF IT, BUT ALL OF
US IN HIGHER EDUCATION IN IDAHO REMAIN COMMITTED TO USING
TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM.>>I WOULD BE REMISS AND WOULD
GET MANY PHONE CALLS IF I DID FOR THE ASK YOU ABOUT SPORTS AT
YOUR INSTITUTION. YOU’VE MADE THE DECISION TO MOVE
TO THE BIG EAST. SOME ARE DERIDING IT AS THE BIG
LEAST BECAUSE SOME TEAMS HAVE PULLED OUT. GOING TO RECONSIDER?>>NOT YET. WE STILL HOPE THAT IT’S GOING TO
STABILIZE. WE HAVE ALREADY INVITED TULANE
AND EAST CAROL UNIVERSITY — EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY INTO
THE CONFERENCE. WE WILL BE PLAYING LOUISVILLE
NEXT YEAR. LOUISVILLE JUST RECENTLY JUMPED. IF YOU LOOK AT THE CONFERENCE,
UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI, MEMPHIS IS IN THAT CONFERENCE,
TEMPLE IS IN THAT CONFERENCE. THERE’S SOME VERY STRONG
AFFILIATIONS NOT JUST ON THE ATHLETIC SIDE. ACADEMICALLY WE’RE ABLE TO JOIN
THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF INVENTORS, WHICH IS ON THE
CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA. ANOTHER ONE OF THE BIG EAST
SCHOOLS. THERE’S AN ACADEMIC CONNECTION
AND A RESEARCH CONNECTION TO THIS CONFERENCE THAT’S VERY
IMPORTANT. IF YOU LOOK AT THE BASKETBALL
SCHOOLS THOUGH ARE SOME FINE ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS.>>YOU BASKETBALL TEAM WILL HAVE
TO GO DOWN AS A RESULT OF THIS MOVE. ANY TIME YOU PRESS ON ONE SIDE
ANOTHER COMES OUT. ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE
AMOUNT OF TRAVEL ON THE FANS’ OR ATHLETES’ SIDE? I THOUGHT, WE’RE IN THE WEST. IS MY GEOGRAPHY WRONG?>>WE CERTAINLY HOPE OUR FANS
WILL FOLLOW THE TEAM. WE’RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE
STUDENT ATHLETES. IF YOU’RE TALKING FOOTBALL THEY
ARE GOING TO GET ON A CHARTERED JET AND FIND THEIR WAY TO THE
FOOTBALL FIELD THEY ARE COMPETING ON WITHIN A MATTER OF
HOURS. IF I WAS DEALING WITH THE
OLYMPIC SPORTS I WOULD NOT ALLOW — WE TOOK THAT OFF THE TABLE
IMMEDIATELY. THERE’S NO WAY WE WOULD SEND OUR
VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY THROUGH TWO OR THREE
AIRPORTS TO PLAY IN THE BIG EAST. THAT’S THE BIG CRITICISM I HAVE
OF A SCHOOL LIKE RUTGERS, FOR EXAMPLE, WHICH JUST DECIDED TO
GO TO THE BIG 10 AND THEY ARE IN NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY. IT’S ONE THING TO DO IT IN
FOOTBALL WHEN IT’S RELATIVELY EASY TO GET TO CAMPUSES IN THE
MIDWEST IN RURAL LOCATIONS. NOW TRY IN ANY OF THE OLYMPIC
SPORTS YOU’RE GOING THROUGH TWO OR THREE AIRPORTS. I DON’T THINK THAT’S FAIR TO THE
STUDENTS. I DON’T THINK THAT’S WHAT THEY
SIGNED UP FOR AND IT’S GOING TO HURT THEIR ACADEMICS AS WELL.>>I WAS KIDDING WITH YOU BEFORE
THIS INTERVIEW, I WAS CHECKING EVERY COUPLE HOURS, TYPING IN
CHRIS PETERSEN, MAKE SURE THERE WAS NO NEW NEWS THERE. THE BADGERS MAY TALK WITH HIM,
COUPLE DAYS AGO IT WAS ARC. THE LATEST IS YOUR HIGHEST PAID
STAFFER AND ONE WITH THE REPUTATION AL CURRENCY AS YOU
LIKE TO PUT IT, ANY PLANS ON LEAVING?>>WELL, I CAN NEVER SPEAK FOR
CHRIS UP TO THE MOMENT, BUT I DO HAVE A VERY STRONG FRIENDSHIP
WITH CHRIS PETERSEN. WE TALK REGULARLY. I KNOW CHRIS LOVES BOISE STATE. HE LOVES LIVING IN IDAHO. EVERY YEAR PEOPLE COME AFTER HIM
LIKE THIS. I’M NOT LIVING IN ANY DREAD FEAR
THAT AS OF THIS MOMENT HE’S LOOKING AT SOMETHING ELSE. I THINK HE’S PLEASED. HE’S WATCHING A NEW FOOTBALL
COMPLEX RISE AT THE END OF THE STADIUM BUILT FOR HIM RIGHT
ABOUT THE TIME HE WAS THINKING ABOUT GOING TO STANFORD, SO IT’S
GOING TO BE A GREAT RECRUITING TOOL FOR HIM AND AS HE CONTINUES
TO COMPETE WITH THE PAC 12 FOR FOOTBALL PLAYERS THIS FACILITY
WILL DO HIM VERY WELL.>>DO YOU EVER FEEL THAT THERE
CAN BE TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON SPORTS OR WHAT’S BEEN CALLED THE
DISTRACTED UNIVERSITY BY SOMEBODY?>>WELL, IT MAY BE THAT WAY FOR
LARGE PUBLIC RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES WHO MAY GET IT OUT
OF WHACK EVERY NOW AND THE THEN. FOR A SCHOOL LIKE BOISE STATE
THAT’S TRYING TO GROW I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANY QUESTION THAT
WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO USE FOOTBALL AS A VEHICLE TO GET THE
ATTENTION OF PEOPLE SO WE CAN ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT FUNDING FOR
THE ACADEMIC SIDE OF THE EQUATION. WHEN FRANK DEFORD FROM “SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED” CAME HE HE SAID, YOU KNOW, ANOTHER SCHOOL TRIED
TO PULL OFF WHAT YOU PULLED OFF, NOTRE DAME. KNUT ROCK THEY DID IT. TODAY IT’S KNOWN AS A GREAT
ACADEMIC UNIVERSITY. THE FACT IS I THINK YOU CAN USE
FOOTBALL IN A POSITIVE FASHION GIVEN THE INCREDIBLE ATTENTION
IT GETS, IT ALLOWS YOU TO GROW OTHER PARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY.>>CAN IT MAKE SO MANY PEOPLE
WANT TO COME HERE THAT THE UNIVERSITY BECOMES FLOODED WITH
NEW APPLICANTS BUT NOT ENOUGH TEACHERS OR COURSES TO KEEP UP
WITH THE POPULARITY BEGINNED UP BY THE SPORTS?>>WE LOVE WHEN YOU HAVE A
STANDING LINE FOR PEOPLE COMING INTO THE UNIVERSITY. THAT’S A GOOD THING. WE WON’T TAKE ANY MORE THAN WE
CAN AFFORD TO EDUCATE IN ANY ONE YEAR, BUT FRANKLY, WHEN YOU LOOK
AT THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO ARE NOW INTERESTED IN BOISE
STATE FROM OUR OF STATE, 38% OF OUR NEW CLASS ARE COMING FROM
OUT OF STATE, A PRETTY GOOD SIGN THAT THE VALUE OF THE BOISE
STATE DEGREE HAS RISEN SUBSTANTIALLY.>>YOU GET OUT OF STATE TUITION.>>FRANKLY THAT’S THE NEW
TUITION MODEL. THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, 45% OF
THEIR STUDENTS COME FROM OUTSIDE THE STATE OF OREGON. THEY ARE BUILDING THEIR ENTIRE
BUSINESS MODEL, ONLY 4% OF THEIR BUDGET COMES FROM THE STATE.>>WE HAVE A TUITION GRAPHIC,
SOMETHING LIKE $11,000 FOR OUT OF STATE, $5,000 FOR INSTATE
STUDENTS.>>TWICE.>>THE SALARIES FOR THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE INVOLVED IN SPORTS, THE MONEY YOU BRING IN FROM SPORTS
IS VERY LARGE. WHEN YOU GET A TELEVISION
CONTRACT AS YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO WITH THE BIG EAST,
HOW MUCH OF THAT MONEY THAT YOU DERIVE FROM SPORTS GETS PUT BACK
INTO ACADEMIA?>>FOR STARTERS IF YOU LOOK AT
THE STICK WILL SKY CENTER BUILT A FEW YEARS AGO, WE TAKE
$600,000, NOW $800,000 OUT OF THAT REVENUE ANNUALLY AND PUT IT
INTO AN ACADEMIC FUND TO BUILD A NEW BUILDING. IT WILL STILL BE A FEW YEARS
BEFORE WE GET ENOUGH TO DO THAT, BUT MY POINT IS THAT THAT STICK
WILL SKY CENTER THAT EVERYBODY THINKS IS SO GREAT FOR FOOTBALL
IS DELIVERING $600,000, NOW $800,000 A YEAR TO AN ACADEMIC
FUND TO BUILD A BUILDING. WHEN IT COMES TO THE MEDIA
MONEY, SOME OF THAT MONEY FINDS ITS WAY BACK INTO THE OVER ALL
UNIVERSITY. A GOOD PORTION OF IT OF COURSE
WILL GO TO KEEP THE ATHLETIC PROGRAM FUNDED INDEPENDENTLY OF
THE REST OF THE UNIVERSITY. WE USE VERY LITTLE FUNDING FROM
THE UNIVERSITY FOR ATHLETICS. ATHLETICS HAS ITS OWN BUDGET. THEIR JOB IS TO RAISE THAT
BUDGET. BY THE WAY, THAT BUDGET IS ABOUT
HALF THE SIZE OF THE AVERAGE ATHLETIC BUDGET YOU’LL FINE IN
THE TOP 25 FOOTBALL TEAMS IN THE NATION.>>AS WE WRAP UP, WE HAVE ONLY
TWO OR THREE MINUTES LEFT, I WANT TO ASK YOU GOING FORWARD
WHAT YOUR PRIORITY IN THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION COMING UP.>>THE BIGGEST PRIORITY WE HAVE
IS HELPING THE LEGISLATURE UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE NO LONGER
THE STATE SUPPORTED UNIVERSITY WE USED TO BE. WHEN WE WERE THE STATE SUPPORTED
UNIVERSITY THERE WERE LOTS OF RULES AND REGULATIONS COMING
FROM STATE GOVERNMENT. WE WERE AN APPENDAGE OF STATE
GOVERNMENT. WE HAVE TO HELP THE LEGISLATURE
UNDERSTAND WE NOW NEED THE FREEDOM AN FLEXIBILITY TO BUILD
A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODEL TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.>>COULD BE CHARGING PER CREDIT
–>>PER CREDIT HOUR. IT COULD BE GETTING INDEPENDENTS
FROM PURCHASING, INDEPENDENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
WORKS. THERE ARE SO MANY RULES AND
REGULATIONS THAT SLOW DOWN WHAT WE CAN DO IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
WHEN IN FACT WE’RE LESS TALIBAN ONE QUARTER OF A PUBLIC
UNIVERSITY TODAY. WE’LL STILL BE LOOKING FOR OUR
$73.5 MILLION OR WHATEVER BOISE STATE TOOK AWAY LAST YEAR, WE
HOPE WITH A LITTLE INCREASE, IF THEY GIVE US THE FLEXIBILITY
WE’LL BE ABLE TO BE A BIGGER, BETTER UNIVERSITY INTO THE
FUTURE.>>WHAT ABOUT YOU? YOU’RE LOOKING AT TEN YEARS IN
JULY BEING HERE. YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED QUITE A BIT. YOU HAVE OTHER THINGS I’M SURE
YOU’D LIKE TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE. I KNOW YOU’LL NEVER COMPLETELY
RETIRE, BUT RETIRING FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION.>>I WAS VISITING WITH THE
PRESIDENT OF CONCORDIA THE OTHER DAY. HE WAS OVER HERE TO VISIT HIS
LAW SCHOOL. ON THE WAY OUT I SAID, HOW LONG
YOU BEEN DOING THIS? HE SAID 30 YEARS. I SAID, THAT MUST BE AN ALL TIME
RECORD. HE SAID, I’M ONLY ONE-THIRD OF
THE WAY THERE. WHAT CAN I TELL YOU? I LOVE THE JOB. I’M NOT GOING TO STAY HERE
FOREVER, OF COURSE, BUT I REALLY LIKE WHAT I’M DOING AND I KNOW
THE DAY WILL COME I’LL WAKE UP AND THINK, I NEED TO BE IN A
BOAT FISHING.>>WEREN’T YOU WRITING
SOMETHING?>>I AM DOING SOME WRITING AND
OF COURSE THE RADIO SHOW IS A MAJOR PREOCCUPATION OF MINE. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THAT INTO
THE FUTURE BEYOND MY PRESIDENCY, BUT I’M ALSO INTERESTED IN DOING
SOME CONSULTING AND HELPING GOVERNING BOARDS GET BETTER AT
WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO IN FIGURING OUT UNIVERSITIES. I HAVE AN ACTIVE AGENDA BUT MY
FIRST PRIORITY IS TO MOVE THIS UNIVERSITY FORWARD AND LIVE IN
THIS BEAUTIFUL STATE. I GET TO DO BOTH. THAT’S A BLESSING AND THE BEST
JOB OF MY LIFE.>>YOU HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO
PRESIDENT BOB KUSTRA. WE’LL GO INTO MORE DEPTH ABOUT
SOME OF THESE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ISSUES. THANK YOU FOR TUNING IN TO THIS
EDITION OF “DIALOGUE.” I’M MARCIA FRANKLIN. Captioning Performed By
LNS Captioning
www.LNScaptioning.com>>PRESENTATION OF “DIALOGUE” ON
IDAHO PUBLIC TELEVISION IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THEN ROUSE
SUPPORT OF THE LAURA MOORE CUNNINGHAM FOUNDATION, COMMITTED
TO FULFILLING THE MOORE FAMILY LEGACY OF BUILDING THE GREAT
STATE OF IDAHO.>>>CHECK OUGHT OUR WEBSITE. BECOME A FRIEND ON FACEBOOK OR
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.

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