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Posts tagged: Boise State University

BSU to change campus event policies that raised 1st Amendment issues

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University officials say they will change their on-campus event policies after facing a possible lawsuit from private legal organizations. The Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho had accused the university of violating the First Amendment after it charged a student organization security fees for a gun-rights event earlier this year. University officials had already reimbursed the students $465 but they say will now suspend the policies that allow them to charge for enhanced security. The university also on Tuesday said it will suspend five other rules where enforcement is dependent on subjective discretion, such as allowing exceptions for sound amplification. The rules will be suspended until the university finishes revising them.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi.

Salman Rushdie to speak in Boise next month

Author Salman Rushdie will give a free lecture at Boise State University’s Morrison Center in November, as part of BSU’s Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series. Rushdie, who was the target of international death threats over his novel “The Satanic Verses” in 1989, is a prize-winning novelist and essayist who was knighted by the Queen of England. His Boise lecture, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20, will be on “Literature and Politics in the Modern World.” Click below for BSU’s full announcement.

BSU says it will rescind security fee charged for gun-rights event

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University officials say they will rescind the security fees they charged a student group for bringing a guns right advocate earlier this year to speak at the campus. However, university attorney Kevin Satterlee says BSU will not change its event policies as requested by the Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho. Satterlee says the university charged Young Americans for Liberty $465 for the May event after seeing a community member encourage attendees to bring weapons on campus. Not providing extra security, Satterlee says, would be considered negligence. The ACLU and Freedom Foundation has described the university's event policies unconstitutional and threatened to sue unless they were amended.

Program aims to inspire college women to enter politics, leadership

Twenty women college students from across Idaho are gathered at Boise State University this week for a week-long residential program designed to educate women about politics and leadership. The program, dubbed NEW Leadership, was created by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in 1991; it’s the first time it’s come to Idaho.

So far, the students have heard from women legislators, mayors, business leaders and more, and participated in sessions on everything from effective communications and presentations to social media, interviewing, networking, and strategy building. Tomorrow, they’ll hold a mock legislative session at the state Capitol, meet the governor and other state officials, and hear from a panel of women lobbyists.

Idaho is the 27th state to join the project, which is aimed at addressing the under-representation of women in American politics. Three “faculty in residence” are spending the week with the students: Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise; Montana State Rep. Ellie Boldman-Hill; and China Gum, who served as Sen. Russ Fulcher’s campaign manager for his gubernatorial campaign and has been prominently involved in GOP political campaigns in Idaho. Melissa Wintrow, a BSU prof and one of the conference organizers as well as a newly nominated Democratic candidate for the state House, said, “In the true spirit of women's work in politics, this conference has been a collaborative effort and the product has been powerful.” There’s more info here.

Two women sue Boise State over sex assault response

Two former Boise State University students are suing the school because they say athletic officials ignored their reports of sexual assault and harassment by a star athlete, the AP reports; the women are represented by nationally known attorney Gloria Allred, who has handled similar lawsuits in several other states. They contend that multiple Boise State University athletic officials knew the athlete who abused them had a record of serially harassing and assaulting fellow students, and that the school's failure to take action spurred the athlete to continue the behavior.

The lawsuit says a “men's star track and field athlete” openly sexually harassed female athletes at practices and coaches didn't intervene. BSU relieved its head track and field coach, J.W. Hardy, from his coaching duties in April 2013. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

New report shows BSU Broncos rank high for academic progress

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A new report shows Boise State's football team is one of the best in the nation when it comes to how players perform in the classroom. The NCAA announced Tuesday that Boise State posted a team-best Academic Progress Rate of 993 during a four-year period ending in 2011-2012. That score ranks the Broncos second in the Football Bowl Subdivision, one spot behind Northwestern from the Big Ten Conference. The University of Idaho's football team scored at 919, while Idaho State came in with 914. APR measures eligibility, retention and graduation of all scholarship athletes. Schools that fail to meet certain APR standards can face penalties. At Idaho, the women's golf team earned the top APR score with 991. At Idaho State, the women's golf team also posted the highest score with 992.

As a department, all Boise State teams combined for an overall score of 977 and four other teams joined the football squad with top honors in the Mountain West Conference, including men's cross country, men's indoor track and field, men's outdoor track and field and swimming and diving teams.

Boise State sues former Big East conference, contesting threat of $5 million penalty

The former Big East conference is threatening to sue Boise State University for $5 million, and BSU is now suing back, filing a lawsuit in district court in Boise “asking the court to declare that no such penalty is due.” In a news release, BSU President Bob Kustra said, “Boise State entered into that agreement in good faith and with a great degree of optimism, but the conference we agreed to join simply no longer exists.” Added Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle, “Boise State worked diligently to try to salvage the Big East Conference and help lead it into the future, but in the end the changes and losses proved too great to overcome.” Click below for the university's full release.

‘An odyssey for Boise State’

Boise State University has backed out on a commitment to join the Big East, the Associated Press reports, and will instead remain a member of the Mountain West. The school and the conference announced today that they've come to an agreement to keep the Broncos playing football in the league they have been a part of for the past two seasons.

Boise State was scheduled to join the Big East next year for football only, but more recent defections from the Big East made it reconsider. BSU said as part of its agreement with the Mountain West, TV rights to its home football games will not be part of the conference's future media contracts. Click below for a full statement from BSU President Bob Kustra, who said, “This has been an odyssey for Boise State, with all the unexpected turns and changes that term suggests.” In the end, Kustra said the new deal with the Mountain West is best for BSU in terms of “geographic footprint, revenue and national exposure,” and he said, “Thanks to the success of Coach Petersen and his staff, Boise State football is a unique program with a value in media and ticket sales attractive to a number of conferences and bowl venues.”

Giant parking crunch expected at Boise State on Thursday

Boise State University is expecting more than 70,000 people on its campus Thursday, as events collide, from regular classes, to two performances of “Les Miserables” at the Morrison Center, to a 4 p.m. women's volleyball game, to the 7 p.m. football matchup against BYU. The campus has 7,700 parking spaces.

As a result, BSU is declaring Thursday to be “Give Your Car a 'Brake' Day,” encouraging alternate transportation and offering parking tips in advance of the big crunch. Click below for the university's full news release.

Southwick named starting quarterback for BSU Broncos

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Boise State on Sunday named redshirt junior Joe Southwick the starting quarterback for the No. 24 Broncos. Southwick, a 6-foot-1, 187-pounder from Danville, Calif., was a backup a year ago to Kellen Moore, who during his career won more games than any other quarterback in the history of college football. As a backup Southwick mostly saw action in fourth-quarter mop-up duty. In eight games, he was 23 of 30 for 198 yards and one TD and one interception. Coach Chris Petersen says Southwick knows the system well and prepared hard to earn the starting job. Southwick says he feels privileged as well a lot of responsibility in being named the starter. The Broncos open the season Friday against No. 12 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich. Click below for a full report from Idaho Statesman sports writer Brian Murphy via the Associated Press; the photo above is by Statesman photographer Chris Butler via AP.

State board approves pay raise for BSU’s Coach Pete

Idaho's state Board of Education has voted unanimously to grant Boise State University's request to boost the base pay for its head football coach, Chris Petersen, to $2 million. In a special meeting, the board voted to bump up Petersen's base pay to $2 million for the 2012-2013 year, up $375,000 from the current $1,175,000. Petersen has a five-year contract that includes annual increases, which would otherwise push his base pay up to $1,575,000 by Jan. 31, 2016; the board will consider a new five-year pact later. He is the state's highest-paid state employee, but the money doesn't come from state funds; instead, it's from program revenues, media, public appearance fees, donations and other non-state funds.

“The impact on the university will be minimal,” said board member Milford Terrell, noting that the change won't tap into any state funds. State Schools Supt. Tom Luna asked to clarify that no state funds will be used, and was assured that was the case. “I don't have a problem with this and I'm going to support it,” Luna said. The AP reports that Petersen is 73-6 in six seasons as head coach for the Broncos.

AP: BSU names Coyle new athletic director

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Boise State University has hired Mark Coyle as its new athletic director. University President Bob Kustra hired Coyle on Thursday to take over for Gene Bleymaier, who was let go in August after serving 29 years as the head of Broncos sports programs. Coyle has been deputy athletic director at Kentucky. Kustra fired Bleymaier in the wake of sanctions imposed by the school stemming from an NCAA investigation. The NCAA placed Boise State on probation for three years and imposed other sanctions for major violations by the football program and other sports. Coyle will have a series of challenges: Keeping football coach Chris Petersen from jumping ship for a larger program, raising millions for ambitious facility expansion plans and keeping Boise State's nose clean with college sports' governing body. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

BSU honors vets on the blue

Boise State University, with more 2,200 veterans among its students, was one of 150 colleges and universities across the nation today to participate in Remembrance Day National Roll Call, in which the names of the casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the past decade were read aloud and tributes offered. You can see the Idaho's Fallen Heroes list here; it's 56 names long. More than 250 people attended today's ceremony at Bronco Stadium, which included remarks from BSU President Bob Kustra, student body Vice President Eric Schuler and Jim Vance, director of the regional office of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The ceremony was followed by a reception and dedication of the new campus Veterans Services Center, just across University Drive from the stadium. More than one in 12 BSU students are either veterans or active military members, which is among the highest ratios in the nation.

State Board approves possible Big East move for BSU football

State Board of Education member Milford Terrell moved to authorize BSU President Bob Kustra to make the final decision “as to whether it is in the best interest of the university to accept an invitation to the Big East conference as a football-only member, and to another conference as to the remainder of the university's intercollegiate sports.” Board member Rod Lewis seconded the motion.

Asked how long all this would take, Kustra told the board, “I would think that by next week we would have a resolution in this matter.” He noted that the appropriate conference varies by sport. “Our wrestling team, for example, is in the PAC-12, because that's simply the best place for our wrestling team to be,” he said. It's important, he said, to find the “best match.”

Board member Bill Goesling proposed to delay a vote so the board could gather more information, but his proposal got no second. The board then passed Terrell's motion on a 7-1 vote, with Goesling, of Moscow, casting the only dissenting vote. Kustra told the board that BSU would join the Big East only if it would play in a new Western Division the conference is establishing, which could include Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston, Boise State, Air Force, and at least one other western school.

Kustra: Big East’s proposed new western division attractive

BSU President Bob Kustra told the state Board of Education today that a new western division of the Big East conference for football could include Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston, Boise State, and Air Force, plus two more he's not “at liberty” to name, “but I will tell you I'm very pleased about the prospects of this western division, including not only the four I mentioned but two more that would be very solid citizens in a western division like this.”

Asked by the board if it would be a “deal breaker” if the Big East didn't establish a western division, Kustra responded, “Yes, without a doubt, that is a deal breaker.” The idea would be for the western schools to play the western schools, he said.

BSU responds to NCAA infraction report; says ‘no impact on our on-field efforts’

Boise State University officials, commenting on the NCAA's report today on infractions in five sports, said they've taken steps to address the concerns raised by the NCAA. “We defended the athletic program to the best of our abilities at the hearing and had hoped our self-imposed sanctions and corrective measures would be sufficient,” said BSU President Bob Kustra.

“A number of decisions have been made since the beginning of the investigation that have demonstrated our commitment to the NCAA process. Boise State will have a diligent and meticulous approach to compliance, with a new level of leadership and accountability. The infractions and subsequent penalties have left us no margin for error going forward, and have changed the nature of oversight required.” Head football coach Chris Petersen said, “Like Dr. Kustra, I was surprised by the findings. I am also disappointed. However, it will not have an impact on our on-field efforts.  At this time we are completely focused on winning Friday’s game at Toledo.” Click below for BSU's full statement responding to the NCAA infractions report, and click here to read the full 73-page report.

NCAA cites BSU for violations in five sports

The NCAA has announced its findings on rule violations by Boise State University, citing BSU for major violations in five sports, with the biggest focusing on women's tennis. Penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the university and adopted by the NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions, include public reprimand and censure; three years of probation; a one-year ban on post-season play following the 2011-12 women's tennis season; and a reduction of football scholarships from 85 to 82 for the 2011-12, 12-13 and 13-14 academic years. Click below for the full announcement from NCAA, which is being released now, at 1 p.m. Boise time; the NCAA also is holding a news conference.

BSU opening Meridian campus

Boise State University will offer classes in Meridian starting in August, at a site formerly occupied by the University of Phoenix. Classes that BSU previously offered at Columbia High School in Nampa will be at the new Meridian site, along with graduate programs in bilingual/ESL education and literacy education; all are aimed at allowing BSU students who live in the west end of the Treasure Valley to complete some bachelor's or master's degrees without traveling to the Boise campus for classes.

Our desire is to complement and support the courses being offered at College of Western Idaho in Nampa and ease the transition for students who transfer to a four-year program at Boise State,” said Peter Risse, associate dean for BSU’s Division of Extended Studies. “The new site is ideal with easy access off the interstate and Eagle Road.” It's located at 2950 Magic View Lane, Suite 188, in Meridian; there's more info here.

Blue-and-orange purchases add another $700K to BSU scholarship funds

The continued popularity of blue-and-orange Boise State Broncos gear will result in $700,000 for scholarships to BSU this year, the university announced today. “It's been growing,” said Mike Reed, BSU bookstore director, with the biggest jump coming in 2007 when Boise State's football wowed the nation at the Fiesta Bowl. That year, merchandise sales from the bookstore and “Bronco Shops” around the area resulted in a record $800,000 for scholarships; it's been in the $600,000 to $700,000 range ever since, Reed said, up from just a couple hundred thousand in the late '90s.

The bookstore and its affiliates return a portion of all profits to the university each year for scholarships. This year's payment will support a freshman-retention scholarship program for BSU students entering their sophomore year in the fall, and two other scholarship programs, for Idaho high school students and for high-achieving students.

BSU gets its biggest gift ever: $13M from Micron for new Ph.D program

Boise State University is receiving the largest charitable gift in the university's nearly 80-year history: A $13 million donation from Micron Technology to the College of Engineering to start a Ph.D program in materials science and engineering. Steve Appleton, Micron CEO, said, “A doctorate program focused on materials science and engineering will strengthen Boise State’s ability to develop breakthrough technologies and help create the associated broad-based economic and societal benefits.” BSU President Bob Kustra said, “This landmark gift will position Boise State’s materials science program as one of the top research engines in the region and we are grateful for Micron’s continued support.” You can read the university's full announcement here.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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