Kustra recounts Boise State cultural change

Boise State University President Dr. Bob Kustra was the final speaker during the 2014 Leadership Summit. He has led a transformation that turned the urban Boise campus into a metropolitan research university of distinction. Kustra is the sixth president in the school’s 80-year history.

Kustra touched on how the “woe is me” mantra is dead and that in today’s workplace, no matter the setting, creating a good culture is dependent on every employee. Supervisors who hang onto someone on a team who simply shouldn’t be there, is disastrous and unfair to fellow colleagues, Kustra said. Good culture can come down to constantly being aware of who your customer is and reading up on what is going on in our world.

Kustra recollected an encounter he had with a Boise State maintenance employee who asked the president randomly one day about why the university didn’t have a baseball program. Kustra said the simple question incited a discussion with the athletic director about exploring the possibility of perhaps bringing baseball back to the program.

The process is ongoing, and involves data collection and studying the analytics and logistics of it. However, Kustra said the idea of listening to some of the most random of ideas and when appropriate, acting upon them, is key to innovation and success.

“The more questions you ask, the better off you are,” Kustra said.

Kustra went on to talk about how universities are letting graduates down by not following up with them after they graduate, and what he is planning to do to turn this around at Boise State. To watch Kustra’s full presentation and hear more of his thoughts, click here.

Published 8-22-14