Boise State President Bob Kustra gives politically-charged State of the University Address

Posted at 5:09 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 19:25:44-04

Boise State University President Bob Kustra delivered his State of the University Address on Wednesday. The annual speech focuses on the school's achievements and goals for the future, but, this year, it took on a more political tone. 

Kustra used his remarks to criticize the Trump Administration's response to the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"The lame efforts by the President to speak on this subject just makes matters worse, of course, and further divide our country," Kustra said. 

Kustra was also critical of Idaho Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Raul Labrador's response to Charlottesville. 

"Congressman Labrador decided the he would come out against White Nationalism, but he also came out against Black Nationalism, it's like, let me Google that," he said. "It has nothing to do with what happened in Charlottesville." 

Kustra used the example of Charlottesville to segue into an introduction of the Marilyn Shuler Human Rights Initiative. 

"It will offer human rights education and smart advocacy skills on campus," he said. "It will eventually include a certificate in human rights initiatives and advocacy as well as offer events open to the public."

Kustra said free speech is constitutionally protected on the BSU campus, but students and faculty members can stand up against hate and bigotry. 

"Our campuses will have to be on the highest alert for the ideological clashes that will continue to take place as this marketplace of ideas becomes, at times, what President Obama called a 'battlefield of ideas'," he said. 

The address introduced plans to build a new School of Public Service and announced the creation of a School of Fine Arts. 

Classes at BSU start Monday, Aug. 21.