This fall, Boise State University is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first doctoral degree and the introduction of three new doctoral programs in nursing, educational leadership and public policy. These are just the latest in a growing slate of Ph.D.-level programs that are putting Boise State’s advancement as a metropolitan research university of distinction on a new trajectory.
Now with ten degree programs, Boise State’s Ph.D.-level programming has bloomed through a strategic focus on deepening academic areas of excellence with the greatest potential for economic, societal and cultural benefit. As a result, these degree programs are transforming the entire university.
These programs attract top-flight faculty members whose research and teaching at the leading edge of their areas of expertise expose our students to the newest ideas and latest advances. These programs attract the brightest students – undergraduates to Ph.D. candidates – looking to learn and be challenged by the best scholars and curriculum possible. Doctoral programs spur cross-disciplinary creativity among our researchers, drive the university’s overall academic focus and posture, create more opportunities for partnerships with funding agencies, and attract businesses interested in our intellectual capital to the region.
Each of the individual programs provide extraordinary benefits to the students and programmatic success of their particular area of focus. But taken together, this rising critical mass of doctoral programming is lifting the intellectual, research and academic culture of the entire university. This success could soon earn Boise State a top-tier rating from the Carnegie Foundation’s classification of higher education institutions – a key framework for recognizing and describing an institution’s academic diversity. Such a rating would place Boise State in the company of the nation and world’s top research universities and open a variety of doors that will take the university’s rise in national stature to the next level.
In the end, why does it matter if we offer more doctoral degrees? Why should you care?
Because our students care. Our faculty cares. Our funding partners and donors care. Our community partners care. And so do our alumni. Because, with every Boise State success – whether in the classroom, in the laboratory or even on the playing field – every faculty opening becomes more prestigious, every scholarship becomes more meaningful and every Boise State degree increases in value.
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.