Bob Kustra, 2019 Icon

Bob Kustra, 2019 Icon

From the Idaho Business Review

Bob Kustra recently stepped down as the president of Boise State University, after serving for 15 years. But Kustra had never even been to Boise — or to Idaho — until he became a candidate for the presidency in 2003. It was during that first visit to Boise, while staying at a hotel along the greenbelt, that he began to fall in love with the City of Trees.

“That’s a visit that I’ll never forget,” he says. “I decided to get on (the greenbelt) with my bike, and about 15 minutes later, I remember getting my cell phone out and calling my wife and saying, ‘I know I’m only one of 80 candidates at this time, but I’d like this job, and I’d like to live in this city.”

Kustra got the job and under his leadership, Boise State experienced tremendous growth. Student enrollment grew from around 18,500 students to more than 25,500. The campus grew physically as well, with $450 million in new construction, including the Micron Business and Economics Building, the Environmental Research Building and the Center for Fine Arts. Kustra says he’s most proud of that project, and in particular, the center’s forthcoming World Museum, which will feature a wall of video screens capable of bringing virtual versions of the world’s most respected art museums to the people of Boise.