A walk through the Quad on a typical day during the fall and spring semester is the best way to understand the broad diversity of our student body – and, perhaps, gain some perspective on the strategic planning required to ensure each of our students has a Boise State experience that is as rich and meaningful as possible.
On your walk, you’ll see traditional college students – 18-24 year olds whose first significant experience away from home was when they became undergraduates – as well as those who came to Boise State with more life experience. You see students whose parents and grandparents attended Boise State and those who are the first in their family to go to college. Some commute to school from their nearby family home while others come from the other side of the state, out of state or another country altogether, and live in our residence halls. There are graduate students, valedictorians, veterans, and student-athletes. Single moms, fraternity and sorority members, mid-career professionals and Ph.D. candidates.
Such diversity is one of Boise State’s greatest strengths. It is essential to our role as a comprehensive university focused on helping as many people as possible earn a college degree that is relevant to the needs of our students, region, state and nation.
Ensuring the efficient and effective use of the resources provided by our students and their families, our donors and partners, and the State of Idaho, requires constant vigilance and planning. As a result, Boise State is currently in the midst of a robust examination of its programmatic priorities and how it helps each and every student be as successful as possible. This deep look will help ensure we’re meeting their needs and help us shape our enrollment policies moving forward to ensure that our graduates are meeting the community’s needs as well. This strategic examination is deeply integrated with Boise State’s overall strategic plan, Focus on Effectiveness 2012-2017 and a statewide examination of higher education priorities initiated by Boise State’s board of directors, the Idaho State Board of Education.
The result will be more certainty that we are providing our broad array of students with the skills they need to be successful as employees in the modern workplace and as citizens of the world. We must help them not only master the knowledge base of their chosen profession, but also their ability to acquire new knowledge and skills throughout their life as critical thinkers, communicators and problem solvers.
Such self-examination is crucial to Boise State’s success in coming years – and we owe it to our students, donors and other partners to continually make certain that we are meeting the needs of our diverse student body and the communities we serve.
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.