Boise State University President Bob Kustra stood before the Idaho Legislature's budget-writing committee Jan. 28 and supported Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's plan to boost graduation numbers by hiring more faculty and advisers with approximately $1.1 million in order to eliminate "bottlenecks" and other hurdles that delay timely graduation. The goal is part of a bigger target to ensure that more than 60 percent of Idahoans between the ages of 24 and 35 have a college degree or certificate by 2020.
Otter has additionally proposed nearly $700,000 to add four computer science faculty and some graduate teaching assistants at Boise State. Kustra said the university has been graduating about 25 computer science students a year, but that number is expected to increase to 50 or 60 this year. The ultimate goal is 200.
But Kustra said the goals are dependent on a greater share of the state's general fund. He reminded the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that Boise State lags behind Idaho's three other four-year public colleges in a per-student funding from the general fund.
“We are running out of reasons to explain away what may be the greatest funding disparity in the history of Idaho public higher education—the underfunding of its largest degree-producing university,” Kustra told lawmakers.