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D1.dossiers: Boise State
University News:
Learn more about Dr. Marlene Tromp, president of Boise State:
Dr. Marlene Tromp became the 7th president of Boise State on July 1, 2019. Key initiatives during her tenure with the Broncos include the introduction of the Bronco Gap Year, the development of the Project Launchpad Summit, the launch of the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity, and the creation of the Hometown Challenge and Community Impact Program. Prior to her arrival in Idaho, Tromp was campus provost and executive vice president at UC Santa Cruz; before joining the UC System, Tromp served as vice provost of the West campus and dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State. A Wyoming native, Tromp was the first member of her family to graduate college, earning a bachelor's degree in English from Creighton University, a master's degree in English from the University of Wyoming and a doctorate from the University of Florida. She has published several books and articles exploring issues of gender, social justice and culture in 19th century life and literature. 
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Budget Cuts and Furloughs:
+ Boise State administrators and faculty are considering a $1.1M faculty furlough plan, which will apply to all faculty working on nine-to-11-month contracts. Instructors making between $40K-74,999 would take the equivalent of four days' unpaid furlough while instructors making over $150K would take 10 furlough days. Impacted instructors will not be able to cancel classes in order to take their furlough. (link)
+ President Tromp, in a virtual town hall with faculty and staff: "So there are so many layers of things that we don't know. That's made it very very difficult for us to give you a lot of specifics about what will happen and when those things will happen." (link)
April 27 , 2020:
Boise State will eliminate annual contracts for staff members, creating an "at-will employment relationship that provides additional flexibility" for professional staff. The budget-cutting measure will not apply to hourly employees or faculty. President Tromp: "The move away from annual contracts will give the university the maximum flexibility necessary to address financial challenges in a way that may actually protect jobs and each division’s ability to continue to do its important work."
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November 19 , 2020:
President Tromp announced plans to host "Project Launchpad," a national digital summit that will bring together higher education administrators to discuss best practices for supporting students during the pandemic. The December 1 event will focus on academic and mental health challenges impacting at-risk students. In related comments to the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Tromp reported that 2,500 K-12 teachers received 73K hours of summer training at Boise State to prepare them for online instruction in the fall. 
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October 28 - November 4 , 2020:
+ Big City Coffee was removed as an official vendor on Boise State's campus after requesting to end its contract with the university after opening in Albertsons Library at the beginning of the fall semester. The company received significant backlash from students and community members regarding the owner's support and display of Thin Blue Line flags and imagery. (link)
+ In a meeting with university officials, Big City Coffee requested that the university issue a statement of support for the company, advocate that students stop posting social media complaints and ensure that students with opposing viewpoints would not be permitted to protest in front of their store. Administrators did not agree to the requests. (link)
+ University statement on the closure: "After some students began speaking out against the owner's personal beliefs, we explained that we could not violate the First Amendment Rights of anyone on campus. Following that, the owner requested to be let out of the contract. We agreed to the owner’s request. At no time did the administration at Boise State ask Big City Coffee to leave campus. At no time did the administration ask Big City Coffee to compromise the owner’s First Amendment rights." (link)
November 3, 2020:
Boise State's new gap year program, which allows students to earn credits remotely, was implemented as a recruiting tool for students unable or unwilling to return to campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is showing promise as a retention tool for students at risk of dropping out. Students in the program can earn up to nine elective credits for the year, including through participating in a job-shadowing or internship opportunity, and enroll for $750 per semester.
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November 4, 2020:
+ The Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) Academic Senate and Student Assembly voted to impeach ASBSU President Cantu based on nine alleged violations of the ASBSU Constitution and Code of Ethics and the university's Student Code of Conduct. (link)
+ The ASBSU Ethics Committee voted to bring impeachment proceedings against Cantu on October 27 based on accusations of bigotry, misogyny, racism and promoting white supremacy in his communications regarding the university's contract with the Boise Police Department and the replacement of an on-campus Starbucks with Big City Coffee, a local company that used Thin Blue Line imagery to support police officers and law enforcement. (link)
+ Boise State administration statement following the impeachment: "As is common practice with university student governments, university administration does not weigh in on the governance of ASBSU. ... Just as we encourage students to exercise their constitutional right to vote in national and local elections, we encourage them to lift their voices in electing their student leaders as well." (link)
November 2, 2020:
The Idaho Department of Labor is attempting to reclaim unemployment benefits paid to furloughed Boise State employees. The furloughs were implemented in the spring for staffers making over $40K per year, who were advised to apply for unemployment to offset the furlough's financial impact. 
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State of the University - August 22, 2019:
During her first State of the University address, President Tromp called on faculty and staff, as well as state lawmakers, to make Boise State a national leader in serving rural students, drawing on her experience as the first member of her Wyoming-based family to graduate from college. Tromp addressed the "politically volatile moment" that accompanied her first days as president, noting that some of the controversy over new diversity and inclusion initiatives were based on confusion and lack of communication between lawmakers and administrators. Other priorities include considering cost-containing measures such as streamlining administrative functions, building up in-house scholarship offerings and using private donations to fund university programs. Tromp: “We cannot remain outside the fray. The faith of the mainstream in higher education has diminished.”
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State of the University - August 19, 2020:
President Tromp revisited the politics of higher education in her second State of the University address, noting that Boise State has been "the special target of some challenging assessments in the last year," due in part to its campus diversity programs as well as the state's higher education budget cuts. As the university prepares for its first fall semester of the pandemic, Tromp urged faculty and staff to remain resilient and innovative and highlighted recent success and new programs such as a record $58M in research awards this year, the launch of two rural pilot programs to match remote students with in-person faculty support and government entities, nonprofits and businesses in their communities, and the creation of the Bronco Gap Year to support students who can't afford to attend college full time. Tromp: “We have been a catalyst for positive change in an incredibly difficult time. We can’t go back to business as usual. … We will not wither in the face of challenges or criticism.”
(link)
October 8, 2020:
Chief Financial Officer Heil breaks down the pandemic's impact on Boise State's $240M annual budget, noting that enrollment and athletics are its two biggest financial variables. Heil projects the university's tuition and fee revenue to remain flat this year despite recent enrollment gains due to out-of-state students enrolling under the Western Undergraduate Exchange program, which caps tuition at 150% of the in-state rate, and the "de-densification" of residence halls due to social distancing guidelines. While the Broncos are participating in the fall football season, Heil and President Tromp anticipate a $25-30M athletics revenue shortfall due to restrictions on fan attendance. Additional factors include a $15.5M write-off in spring and summer revenues for campus events and performances; $7.9M in infrastructure costs to prepare campus for the fall semester; $9.6M in state budget cuts and holdbacks. The university did receive $14.8M from the federal CARES act to cover costs related to COVID-19.
(link)
September 8, 2020:
Boise State is in the fifth and final year of its contract with the Boise Police Department after a committee appointed by Prez Tromp reevaluated the university's options for campus policing and security. While student activists have voiced concerns regarding the BPD, committee members noted that the contract ensures that the university is in compliance with federal laws like the Clery Act and Title IX while also giving the university "a voice in how policing is done on campus." Among the committee's recommendations are requests for the city to continue its review of use of force policies and training requirements, including implicit bias training. Replacing BPD's services with another agency would likely take six months to put out a bid and finalize a contract. 
(link)
August 3, 2020:
The Idaho State Board of Education voted unanimously to waive college entrance exams as an admissions requirement for the state's colleges and universities for the 2021-22 academic year. The Board also unanimously approved modifications to Idaho's Direct Admissions criteria for 2021-22, dropping the minimum GPA requirement from 3.0 to 2.8. (link)
July 11, 2019:
Days into her tenure at Boise State, President Tromp received a letter from 28 House Republicans, including eight of the 15 members of the House Education Committee, urging her distance the university from the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives introduced by interim President Schimpf in June. Rep. Ehardt: “I don’t view the current direction of Boise State to be in the tradition of what higher education has been, or should be, in Idaho. As legislators, we will seek and support academic excellence that does not pursue social or political agendas or incur additional costs.” Tromp did not offer a comment on the letter. (link)
Enrollment Info - October 2020:
+ Boise State reported an 8.3% enrollment decline, in line with projections, for a total enrollment of 24,103 students. The dip is attributed to a 37% drop in high school students enrolling in dual-credit Boise State courses, based in part on the pandemic's disruption to high school academic calendars. Overall, 19,930 students are attending on-campus classes this fall, a 0.5% increase from last year. (link)
+ 18% of undergraduates, or 3,757 students, are taking all in-person or hybrid courses this fall while 53%, or 11,076 students, are taking a blend of in-person or hybrid courses and online courses. 71% of undergraduates are taking at least one in-person course while 29% are taking online or remote courses only. (link)
+ 71% of Boise State students have in-state residency compared to 29% nonresidents; 3,027 students are first-generation while 1,541 are transfer students; 73% of students are white while 13% are Hispanic/Latino, 2% are Black/African American and 1% are international; in-state undergraduate tuition is $8,086 while out-of-state tuition is $24,988; in-state graduate tuition is $9,646 while out-of-state tuition is $25,566. (link)
April 26, 2019:
President Tromp's three-year contract includes an annual $425K salary, more than her predecessors Kustra (who made $411K in his final year as president) and Schimpf (who earned $391K as interim president). If Tromp retires or resigns, she has the option of remaining at Boise State as a tenured faculty member with a salary "equal to that of the highest paid full professor." Tromp will also receive a $60K-per-year housing allowance, up from Kustra's $26K-per-year housing stipend.
(link)
COVID-19 Updates - November 2020:
+ Boise State reported 121 positive tests, a record number of weekly cases, as in-person classes concluded before the Thanksgiving holiday. The increased case number marked the third successive weekly increase, with a 5.9% positivity rate compared to 4.7% the week before. 88 cases involved students living off campus, 19 involved employees, and 14 involved students living on campus. (link)
+ Full COVID-19 dashboard for the university community. (link)
+ The university expanded testing options and requirements leading into upcoming winter breaks: any member of the campus community who returns to campus after Fall Break must undergo testing and any member of the campus community who returns to campus for the spring semester must undergo testing upon arrival. (link)
November 12, 2020:
Boise State launched the national search for its next provost and vice president for academic affairs, partnering with executive search firm Storbeck and Pimentel and appointing a 17-member search committee. The committee will hold a series of forums with members of the campus community to identify key requirements for the position before conducting the search virtually; final candidates will participate in on-campus interviews and a final selection is expected April 2021. (link); Here is the full org chart for the Board of Trustees of the Idaho State Board of Education (link)
New Academic Programs - November 2020:
+ Following an on-site review in March, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education awarded reaccreditation through 2030 for the School of Nursing's Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. (link)
+ On November 9, Boise State launched the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity, pending State Board approval, to develop a skilled cybersecurity workforce, facilitate strategic partnerships between higher education and industry and governmental partners, and commercialize groundbreaking research and tools. Prez Tromp: “The Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity serves as a premier driver for Idaho and regional cybersecurity by investing in transformative research, creating a career pipeline for students, and engaging with partners both locally and nationally.” (link)
Fiscal Years 2021 and 2020 Summaries:
2021: Boise State reported $615,507,523 in total revenue, including $235M in total governmental appropriations. Operational expenses were reported at $615,835,369, of which 23,5% was allocated for instruction, 18.7% for federal student financial aid, 11% for institutional support and 10.7% for research. (link)
2020: Per reporting from the Boise State Budget Office, the university estimated $575,188,234 in total revenue, including $145,920,000 in federal grants and contracts and $127,803,200 from tuition and general education fees. Total estimated expenditures was $575,188,234, including $149,404,479 for instruction and $112M for federal student financial aid. (link)
Campus Construction Overview:
Ongoing facilities upgrades at Boise State include the $48M Center for the Visual Arts, which will house the university's Department of Art as well as public gallery space and a high-tech World Museum; the Micron Center for Materials Research, funded in part by a $25M gift from the Micron Foundation -- the largest gift in university history; additionally, the university is implementing campus-wide LED lighting upgrades. 
(link)
D1.dossiers: Boise State
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