Outgoing Boise State President Bob Kustra visits his old office and interim president Martin Schimpf on Friday. Kustra's tenure started in 2003 when Boise State was a commuter school of roughly 18,500 students. Under his leadership, the school has grown to more than 24,000 students.
As fate would have it, the first song Boise State president Bob Kustra heard when he turned on his car Friday morning told a story 15 years in the making.
Kustra, 75, announced his retirement last November, effective June 30, 2018. The song that popped on when he drove to work on his last day was George Strait's "The Cowboy Rides Away."
"And my heart is sinking like the setting sun, setting on the things I wish I'd done. It's time to say goodbye to yesterday. This is where the cowboy rides away."
"Now, I’m not a cowboy. Don’t mistake me for any kind of a cowboy," Kustra said. "But it was quite a message, like ‘Yeah, I’m saying goodbye to yesterday, alright.'"
After 15 years, he was dressed like he would be for any other day of work: a powder blue dress shirt, khakis and a blue blazer complete with a Boise State "B" pin on the left collar.
As he embarked on his final day, he crossed off items on his agenda one last time. On the schedule were trips to Boise State Public Radio, where he will continue to host his weekly "Reader's Corner" show; a meeting with administration about the completion of the Center for Fine Arts; and meeting to get fitted for a bow-tie by students who started their own business.
Back in his old office, Kustra pointed out a statue of a turtle sitting on a coffee table. Though the next president of Boise State is still undetermined, he's leaving the turtle for him or her. It was given to him by a former biology instructor in 2004. A tag on it reads, "Behold the turtle! He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.”
It's advice Kustra hopes the next president of Boise State will follow.
“I’ve never been shy about sharing my vision and dreams for this place, long before I would know whether or not everybody was going to sign off," Kustra said. "And I think that’s what that turtle is trying to tell me.”
Boise State University President Bob Kustra retired on Friday, June 29. The Idaho Statesman sat down with him on Wednesday, June 27 to talk about his time as BSU's President.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Boy Scout files used to track sexual misconduct accusations against troop leaders can be used at trial. The lawsuit will be heard May 6 in federal court in Boise.