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Eye On Boise

Mon., Jan. 21, 2013, 9:24 a.m.

BSU sees shift in student composition, more pressure on upper division

Boise State University President Bob Kustra makes his budget pitch to state lawmakers on Monday (Betsy Russell)
Boise State University President Bob Kustra makes his budget pitch to state lawmakers on Monday (Betsy Russell)

Boise State University has seen a shift in its student composition since the opening of the College of Western Idaho community college, BSU President Bob Kustra told JFAC this morning. Now, Boise State has more juniors and seniors, and fewer freshmen and sophomores, and that’s putting more pressure on the need for additional full-time faculty to teach upper-division courses, a need already exacerbated by funding equity issues and a lack of enrollment workload funding in past years, something Kustra called a “double whammy.”

“It’s new sections that are the issue at Boise State,” Kustra told lawmakers, creating a “bottleneck” for juniors as they need to take specific upper-division courses for their majors. “That’s the crisis that we have. … How do we figure out a way to bring the number of sections up so that we can bring students through?” That’s particularly an issue in the most popular majors, he said.

At the same time, BSU has had an increase in out-of-state enrollment from California, because that state has announced that, due to budget cuts, it’ll take students five and a half years to graduate. “We do have a finish-in-four program,” Kustra said. “If a student wants to get out in four years, and they’re willing to take only one major, not change a major … we’ll get ‘em out in four years.”
 

Kustra said BSU has seen a 47 percent increase in degrees granted since 2006, and just an 8 percent increase in faculty appointments over the same time period. “We have reached a point where we will be pressed to accommodate growth without additional resources, especially as we have more students taking upper division coursework,” he said in his presentation.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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