Idaho State Board of Education begins Boise State president search

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By: Taylor Munson and Brandon Rasmussen. 

The Idaho State Board of Education has officially begun its national search process for a new Boise State president to fill the shoes of President Bob Kustra. In November, President Kustra announced his plan to retire on June 30, 2018, after 15 years as Boise State’s president.

According to a press release from the Idaho State Board of Education on Jan. 11, the search process began with “a series of in-person listening sessions to give Boise State stakeholders and community members an opportunity to offer input on qualities and characteristics most important to the position profile and advertisement.” These listening sessions will take place Wednesday, Jan. 17 through Friday, Jan. 19 in Boise State’s Student Union Building, according to Idaho State Board of Education President Linda Clark. These sessions will specifically provide opportunities for faculty, students, staff and alumni to give their input.

“That is the first step: to gather this wide range of input into what all of those folks think we should be looking for in a new president,” Clark said.

According to Clark, a search committee will hold its first meeting on Friday, Jan. 19 to determine the official criteria and requirements, then an outside consulting company will turn that into a job description and then a job posting for candidates to begin applying.

The Idaho State Board is using AGB Search—a firm that specializes in higher education executive searches—as well as a local search committee to help with the selection process. The Idaho State Board will make the final selection, according to Clark.

On Feb. 5 the search will be officially open for candidates to submit materials, according to Boise State. The application process will then close on March 12, and the search committee will review the applicants and schedule interviews. The candidates will then be reduced and campus visits will be scheduled, and recommendations will be made to the Idaho State Board. Finally, the Idaho State Board will interview the final candidates and make its decision. The national search for a new Boise State president is expected to take about six months, with the final selection planned for May of 2018.

“The timeline is very challenging because our goal is to have the new president employed and on campus before the start of the next school year,” Clark said. “It’s an ambitious timeline, but a reasonable one.”

According to Clark, there have been some recent changes to the search committee in an effort to make it more diverse. As of now, the committee includes ASBSU president Sienna George, faculty senate, two State Board of Education members, other Boise State staff, alumni association, community members, the Chamber of Commerce and others. A full list of the 14 members can be found at the bottom of this article.

As this search process begins, many of those who have worked closely with President Kustra are able to reflect on their time with him, as well as look forward to what they hope for in a new president.

“We have a special culture at Boise State. We’re innovative. We try to figure out how to get things done. We’re often on the cutting edge of a lot of things,” said Mark Rudin, vice president of Research and Economic Development. “We need someone who can continue on and adopt the Boise State culture and continue to move this ship forward.”

Chief Operating Officer Kevin Satterlee, who has been appointed to the search committee, has worked closely with Kustra throughout his time as president of Boise State.

In a new president, Satterlee said he hopes for “someone who can take what Dr. Kustra has accomplished in his 15 years and use that as the base to be even better. (Kustra) has built a foundation that the new president is going to be able to springboard from.”

Leslie Webb, vice president for Student Affairs, also spoke on her hopes for the new president in terms of building off of what President Kustra built during his career at Boise State.

“Dr. Kustra (has had a clear) vision of a vibrant campus life—student organizations, our living-learning communities and our residence hall system. Boise State is now seen as a regionally-serving institution,” Webb said. “I’m interested in someone who is both thinking about what’s next for the institution, has a continuing vision of this exciting trajectory we are on and will work to strengthen our core foundation.”

Full list of Boise State president search committee members: 

Dr. Linda Clark, Chair, Idaho State Board of Education

Dr. David Hill, Idaho State Board of Education

Kevin Satterlee, Boise State Chief Operating Officer, Vice President and Special Counsel

Edward “Mac” Test, Boise State Faculty Senate President

Sienna George, ASBSU President

Royanne Minskoff, Boise State Foundation Chair

Ro Parker, Boise State Professional Staff Representative

Elise Crary, Boise State Classified Staff Representative

Ed Bodily, President, Boise State Alumni Association Board of Directors

Naomi Shankel, Community Representative

Milford Terrell, Community Representative

Jay Hawkins, Community Representative

Jim Kissler, Community Representative

Bill Connors, Community Representative



About Author

Taylor is a senior studying communication with an emphasis in journalism and media studies and a minor in dance. Her free time consists of writing, listening to NPR, dancing, reading, exploring, coffee and cuddling with her dog Minnie. As Online Editor, Taylor is excited to manage the online aspects of The Arbiter’s content through the website, social media, and the newsletter. She is passionate about the importance of student journalism on campus, the role of journalism in upholding democratic values, and believes The Arbiter consistently strives to accomplish these goals in the best way possible.

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