Newswise — An unprecedented effort at Boise State University will help redefine and revolutionize teaching and learning, community partnerships and research endeavors, President Bob Kustra announced at his annual State of the University Address Wednesday.

The university’s proposed College of Innovation and Design will leverage the speed, collaboration and risk-taking of a start-up, and serve as a university-wide hub to inspire and support faculty, students and community members as they work together to anticipate the demands and opportunities of an ever-changing world and workplace.

These diverse teams will create pioneering degrees, badges and certificates, as well as design new and innovative approaches to research, community engagement efforts and other initiatives that transcend conventional university boundaries, structures or disciplines.

“Clearly, we are in an era of redesign in higher education where we need to test new approaches to learning and teaching, find new applications for our degree offerings and research, and foster a culture that will marshal our creativity and innovation,” Kustra said.

Boise State leaders plan to take the proposal to the university’s trustees on the State Board of Education this fall.

“One of the greatest limitations of the traditional college structure is that each discipline is organized in its own department, an academic framework sometimes difficult to overcome for both students and faculty,” Kustra said. “But the College of Innovation and Design will be set up to help break and blur those barriers — to create truly transdisciplinary programs, research projects and more.”

“Science, engineering and art are just facets of the same thing,” said materials science and engineering professor Will Hughes. “If you can engage your research from the eye of an artist, the eye of a scientist, the eye of an engineer, it may allow you to access a broader population with the education or with the ideas that you’re moving forward.”

The college already has begun its work with an initial request for proposals from Provost Marty Schimpf for undergraduate degree programs, certificates, minors or badges. Faculty teams put forward 24 proposals and it is anticipated that several new programs will be developed as a result.

Andrew Finstuen, the dean of Boise State’s Honors College, will lead the development of the new college on an interim basis while a national search is conducted.

Media contacts: Greg Hahn, Boise State University Communications, (208) 426-5391, [email protected]; Sherry Squires, Boise State University Communications, (208) 426-1563, [email protected]

About Boise State UniversityA public metropolitan research university with more than 22,000 students, Boise State is proud to be powered by creativity and innovation. Located in Idaho’s capital city, the university has a growing research agenda and plays a crucial role in the region’s knowledge economy and famed quality of life. In the past 10 years, the university has quadrupled the number of doctoral degrees, doubled its masters degrees and now offers 13 online degree programs. Learn more at