Legislative candidate: BSU should be Idaho's flagship university

The Bronco football team received a smattering of No. 1 votes from America's sportswriters Tuesday, and Boise State University should get the Legislature's top ranking.

At least, legislative candidate Dan Loughrey is pushing the second half of the equation.

“We have a higher education system that promotes mediocrity, and not excellence. What we have are four universities, with four highly paid presidents and four different visions,” said Loughrey, a Boise Republican.

"It’s high time to recognize that success in higher education must revolve around Boise State University, where half the state’s population resides.”

That'd at least make for an interesting turf war, should Loughrey get elected. It might even shove that whole "nasty and inebriated" culture war to the side.

Loughrey is seeking a House seat in legislative District 17, which includes the BSU campus. His opponent, two-term Democrat Sue Chew of Boise, is a BSU adjunct professor.

Here's Loughrey's news release:

House candidate Dan Loughrey says that if he is elected to the Legislature, he will push to make Boise State University Idaho’s flagship university.

Loughrey says Idaho’s economic future depends on having a quality higher education system, and Boise State being a top-grade university.

“Boise State has one of the best football programs in America and, without question, the best in Idaho,” said Loughrey, who is running for the District 17B House seat. “Academically, there’s a far different perception.”

Loughrey said Boise State needs to be recognized as the No. 1 university in the state — funding-wise and otherwise. BSU needs to be to Idaho what the University of Nebraska, University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin are to their respective states.

Loughrey said more funding for Idaho’s universities is not the answer.

“We need planning, vision, leadership or direction in higher education. As a result, we have a higher education system that promotes mediocrity, and not excellence. What we have are four universities, with four highly paid presidents and four different visions,” Loughrey said.

“It’s abundantly clear that Idaho does not have the resources to fully fund all these four-year schools,” he said. “It’s high time to recognize that success in higher education must revolve around Boise State University, where half the state’s population resides.”

Loughrey says his election to the Idaho House of Representatives will not guarantee immediate change. But he will use his place in the Legislature to be a strong advocate for Boise State University and his voice to promote the need for better planning in higher education.

“Spinning our wheels is not an acceptable plan and mediocrity is not an acceptable vision for higher education in Idaho,” Loughrey said.

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At least

He has a vision. What has Chew done in the 2 terms she's been there? Even as a prof at BSU, you never hear her pushing for the betterment of even her own school and employer, maybe she's OK with the status quo. I have kids in BSU and "mediocrity" is an understatement! They wonder at times what they are paying for because few profs push them at all, they just go through the motions and get their grades.

Maybe it is time for a changing of the guard and give this guy a chance to do something, anything? Chew reminds me of a bump on a log and seldom seems to get active in any cause at all.

so you're suggesting

that legislators are expected to be pushing to improve things for their own employers while they're in office?

That's an interesting take on it. Illegal, but interesting!

So you are saying

That all the teachers that sit in the legislature and vote on their own pay raises are illegal? Should be I guess.

No, what I'm saying is that Chew has done nothing to promote BSU or any business in her district. Promoting them would help create jobs, there is nothing at all wrong with a legislator working for the people of their district. It's when they vote on something that directly impacts them that is concerning, like the teachers do now.

so what exactly is he saying?

"Loughrey said Boise State needs to be recognized as the No. 1 university in the state — funding-wise and otherwise. Loughrey said more funding for Idaho’s universities is not the answer."

With no additional funding, it's a zero-sum game. So is he saying, don't fund the University of Idaho, which is the state's land-grant university? Is he saying not to fund the state's community colleges?

I can't wait to hear more about this one.

Political posturing

Nothing more than political posturing for votes and without merit.

BSU is and will continue to be a football team with a college. BSU has made the choice for athletics to be a priority not academics. Ask die-hard BSU supporters and BSU personnel where their children attend college. Many who contribute financially (tax write offs) and who are employed by BSU, children attend other colleges. Until BSU's priorities become quality education as it is quality athletics, it will continue to be a community college with part-time students with an emphasis on athletics.

If BSU is such an outstanding college why do so many students attend the other colleges in Idaho. Could it be that the quality of education, minus the emphasis on athletics, is a evident to those students and their families.

Good comment straighttalk

There's nothing wrong with four different visions for higher ed in the state. BSU should focus on community ed, non traditional student needs, and meeting the demands Boise's tech industries. To try and make BSU the flagship university in the state at the expense of the traditional and excellent roles ISU and UI play would be a huge mistake.


Could you explain what "roles" you think ISU and UI play in the state's ed goals?

If you seriously don't know,

If you seriously don't know, then why not ask Dan Loughrey?


Why would I ask Dan to explain YOUR comment?
Just wondering what YOU think it is.


"Until BSU's priorities become quality education"
What makes you think any of the other universities have a higher priority on quality education? Do you really think there is any difference? If so, plse explain.

Then why....

do more students enroll at BSU than ISU and U of I? Why are the entrance requirements higher at BSU than at other Idaho public institutions? Why do more students transfer from the U of I to BSU than any other location. BSU already exceeds the U of I and ISU in many areas including engineering, the social sciences, and nursing.

more students

Yes, BSU has more students because it is a part-time college which caters to individuals who also work, some full time, while attending school. If you compare the figures of full time students at each of the various colleges you would have a different set of numbers.

The University of Idaho is included in the 2011 edition of Princeton Review's "Best 373 Colleges." Only about 15 percent of the nation's colleges are included in the ranking of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education. Idaho also was one of 120 colleges The Princeton Review chose for their "Best in the West" website feature, "2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region.

Fact versus fiction

More students at BSU that the UI. Absolutely. Better football team. Absolutely. Better in engineering and science. Let's look at some other facts. Total research activity -- BSU $11.7 million and UI $89.2 million. 79% of all Idaho graduates receiving degrees last year in science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduated from the UI. Doctoral degrees awarded last year -- UI 88, BSU 9. New National Merit Scholars -- UI 21, BSU 2. Graduation rates for students earning a degree within six years -- UI 57%, state average excluding the UI 22%. Presumably students transfer to BSU from the UI for a number of reasons -- they miss being at home, more employment opportunities in Boise that Moscow, feel that BSU will be less challenging, or are more interested in football excellence than academic excellence.

Funding disparity

Also, pointing to how much money each school spends on engineering and hard science research simply underscores the candidate's point: the Idaho legislature over-funds the University of Idaho proportionate to other universities in the state.

Why should we care, much less be surprised, that UI spends significantly more on these projects than BSU? It's simply a reflection of government funding, genius.

It's more a reflection of U

It's more a reflection of U of I's stature as a research university and ability to attract grant monies.

Nice try Vandal trolls

Arbitrary categorizations aside, Boise State is rated higher by U.S. News & World Report than U. Idaho.

Top Schools in Idaho (based on raw USNWR scores*):

1. College of Idaho (36 points)
2. Boise State University (30 points)
3. University of Idaho (26 points)
4. Idaho State University (4 points)

* Raw scores are calculated using the same evaluative criteria for all schools, regardless of category.
See also: http://right-mind.us/blogs/moscoweducation/archive/2008/09/06/62917.aspx

As to full-time vs. part-time enrollment:

About 70% of Boise State students are full-time (roughly 13,000 of 19,000 enrolled students).

About 78% of Idaho students are full-time (roughly 9,000 of 11,500 students).

You really think 8% is something to gloat about? In any event, Boise State has 45% more full-time students than Idaho.


Nice try donkey

UI is ranked among national Universities, and if you query US news and world report for national universities in Idaho - you only get two responses. University of Idaho and Idaho State - with the qualifier that ISU is a tier 2 school.

When you look at all aspects of academics, bsu just doesn't measure up.

Defend your opinion with some evidence

Did you ask die-hard UI and ISU supporters and personnel where their children attend college? Could it be some students want to get away from home? English 101 and remedial math are the same all over.

Also, everyone in Ohio knows that if it were not for football, Ohio State would still be an ag college. Never underestimate the academic benefits that following winning football teams.

Evidence suggests Charles Manson should stay in prison.


"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

Everyone in Ohio - and most other places also knows that

Ohio State is still an agricultural university.

As for college football - it's basically what the circus was to Rome - a distraction (yes I know it is also a multimillion dollar business). bsu can talk all day about football - they even use coach pete to advertise their "university" on national television. No academics to brag about - low graduation and retention rates, low grant dollar totals, etc. etc.

Quality education -

The University of Idaho received a piece of the $16.5 million from the National Institutes of Health Grant for biomedical research. The renewal grant to the Idaho Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) supports undergraduate, graduate and faculty research and other statewide efforts. The grant is the largest scientific grant award to Idaho’s higher education and research institutions and brings the total federal investment in INBRE to $40 million.

Uof I College of Education graduate degree program is ranked 87th in the nation in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings of America's Best Graduate Schools in the category of Schools of Education.

Ooooh, 87th!?

You're seriously bragging about being ranked 87th? LOL

And what about the law school -- bottom tier out of 180 law schools! (In other words, one of the worst in the country) The admissions standards for Idaho Law are abysmally low.

Undergrad admissions at BSU and UI are negligibly different -- both essentially require a pulse, SOME standardized test score, and English-speaking ability.

These distinctions you draw and pathetic.

Network tech

The University of Idaho is a member of Internet2, the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Idaho faculty and staff have access to an extraordinary amount of research bandwidth that links the Moscow campus to more than 200 other Internet2 universities, U.S. government research laboratories, 70 companies, and many research facilities throughout the world. The primary objectives are to facilitate extreme research, collaborative development, distributed experiments, grid-based data analysis and experimentation using high performance networking.

transportation education

The University's National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology is ranked among the top transportation research centers in the nation. It is one of 10 centers to receive honors from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration for finding innovative solutions to immediate and long-range transportation challenges through research, education and technology transfer.


Great football team doesn't equal great academics. What a fool.

Besides that: How big a flagship can you sail after tube season?


"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne


Universities? Idaho has THREE state funded Universities- U of I, ISU, and BSU (in order of gaining University status). There are five state funded colleges. There are four PRIVATE Universities, none of which get state funding of course, and seven private colleges. I wonder which one of these sixteen other institutions has found its' way onto Mr. Loughrey's list of FOUR?

That's what comes of an out-of-state diploma.


"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne


I was trying to figure out which one I'd forgotten!


Good catch!

for others (like me) missing the names of the misc institutions

KR, why didn't YOU catch that ball?

Why should he be concerned

With the non-state funded colleges and universities? What a stupid comment, his comments are focused on state funded education and what needs to be done to make it better.

All of you seem to be ok with status quo, is a diploma from BSU worth as much as one from Stanford or MIT? THAT's the point. The state tax Dollars do pay about 25% of the costs of running the state universities, so the state should have a say in the direction and process of education. Making that education better should always be a bar worth reaching, I think that's what he's saying. The issue is who has a better plan to do that, the new guy's well articulated one or the incymbent (system wouldn't let me spell this correctly) who has done nothing to date to show she even cares?

He identifies Ag Schools

as his examples of excellence, and two of the three are not in population centers in their respective states. Such an argument goes against forcing bsu to be the flagship.

If funding is an issue, he might note that UI garners more extramural funding than the other three schools combined.

Plus there is the small matter of the Idaho constitution.

BIG bucks donation to Idaho schools

Exxon Mobil gave Stanford $100,000,000. It, along with Conoco Phillips, should give $100 million to the U. of Idaho; and $100 million to Lewis-Clark State. This would end the bickering over the Oil equipment using highway US 12.

"It’s high time to

"It’s high time to recognize that success in higher education must revolve around Boise State University, where half the state’s population resides.”

I'd love to be in the room when this idiot says that to legislators from Northern and Eastern Idaho. The dude's next legislative assignment would be shoveling the sidewalk at the Capital building.