Venture College at Boise State University

A couple of years ago, my friend Mary Andrews (Director of the Office of University and Industry Ventures at Boise State University) approached me about an idea of hers to create curriculum at BSU aimed at preparing students to launch startups either while at school or upon graduating. The more she described it, the more awesome it sounded.

I’m really excited to share that this week, BSU announced Venture College, a program that will debut this fall aimed at providing students with the knowledge, skills and networks to launch a business. It’s fantastic to see this type of forward thinking coming out Boise State. I’ve known Mary since I moved to Boise and our community is lucky to have her. Her background as a venture capitalist gives her a unique perspective in a university setting and anyone who has spent time with her knows that her unwavering optimism is contagious.

As one can sense from yesterday’s article from Entrepreneur Magazine, Boise’s startup scene is on the rise and Venture College at BSU will only add to it. I’m really looking forward to watching this unique and innovative program launch this fall. Go Broncos!

Hero Ride – Boise State & BYU

During the week of Sept 17 (BYU / Boise St game), the Thursday’s Heroes Foundation (see video below) is planning to ride from Provo to Boise. This ride is to raise awareness for an incredible non-profit foundation that helps cover medical costs for special needs kids. With so many negative things that are happening in college sports, BYU & Boise State are teaming up to do this ride to highlight some of the positive things that are also happening. In fact, ESPN & BYUtv are planning to provide coverage of the ride and (hopefully) feature the story during pre-game or half-time (not 100% confirmed, but looking good). I recently heard about this and thought that it was a great idea. They already have a some of the Thursday Hero kids and their families that are planning to participate.

How you can help: They are hoping to get a group of BSU fans to participate in the last leg of the ride as the group enters into Boise. This ride isn’t about BYU. It isn’t about BSU. It’s about BYU & BSU coming together to support kids in need. Can you help us spread the word and try to round up 10+ BSU fans that enjoy cycling to participate? Any help spreading the word will help. Feel free to put this into a blog and/or forward this email to anyone & everyone that you can (especially if they are interested in cycling).

Anyone interested in the ride can call Cort Trejo at theBYU football office (801-422-2916). Thanks!

Jumping To Conclusions

For all the wonders and magic of the internet’s ability to disseminate information in real-time, with it comes the unfortunate consequence of the media’s (both traditional and social) need to jump to conclusions and cast blame regarding newsworthy events before facts are uncovered and time has had a chance to reveal something that resembles the truth.

So it goes with the recent frenzy over the firing of Boise State Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier by BSU President Bob Kustra. Like everyone else in Boise, I’ve read the articles and observed folks in the social media stream give Kustra “the business” over firing the man who we all know has done so much to build the Boise State athletic department into what it is today.

I don’t claim to understand what happened to precipitate the firing of Gene Bleymaier, nor do I suspect we’ll ever really know. I know however what kind of man Bob Kustra is. I’m fortunate that I’ve gotten to know him well over the last decade and for my money, no one has had a greater positive impact on Boise and the State of Idaho in the last ten years than he has. I feel lucky to call him my friend.

In just eight years, he’s led BSU through its greatest period of dynamic growth in its history. His administration has been marked by an emphasis on research, upgrading admissions standards, improving the undergraduate experience, and increasing the number of graduate and doctoral programs (especially in the increasingly important science and engineering disciplines). Faculty awards and grants for research at Boise State have nearly tripled during his tenure to $50 million. Bob also led the most ambitious fundraising campaign in university history that reached its goal this year. Destination Distinction raised more than $175 million in private support for faculty, student scholarships, programs and campus infrastructure. Most importantly, he’s been able to do this during a period of declining State revenue and difficult economic climates. Few people have an inkling of the complexity and difficulty of negotiating on behalf of education with our State Legislature. I shudder to think of where we’d be today if not for his efforts.

I also know Gene Bleymaier and he is a very good man, a true legend in the Boise community. Unfortunately, there’s no graceful way to fire a legend. That doesn’t negate the fact that sometimes, legends need to be fired (see Bobby Knight). Those that know Bob know that he wouldn’t do something like this if he hadn’t done his homework before taking action. I think Bob Kustra has earned our respect as a community enough to give him some benefit of the doubt on this one.