Dr. Marlene Tromp became the seventh President of Boise State University on July 1, 2019. She has worked in partnership with the top-tier faculty to increase the academic excellence of the university and has broken a student graduation record, research funding record, and philanthropy record since her arrival. She has increased access and enrollment for Idaho students and provided an affordable education for students from elsewhere to fuel the booming Idaho economy. With academic leadership, she has created pathbreaking partnerships with industry and nonprofits to advance students and the state.
She brought Boise State University into the UPWARDS partnership at the G7 Summit and oversaw the launch of the Microelectronics Education and Research (MER) Institute to advance efforts to prepare a broad array of students for work in the semiconductor industry. She brought Boise State onto the Council on Competitiveness, designed to enhance U.S. productivity and prosperity for all Americans. She formed strategic partnerships with industry, higher education and government by launching the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity. She supported enormous growth in the health sciences in every sector, graduated more students in education, and increased interdisciplinary thought-leadership through cutting-edge programs like the School of the Environment and School of Computing. She also had the privilege of opening an award-winning fine arts facility and a world-class engineering facility focused on materials science and pathbreaking qDNA research for quantum computing.
Her passion for supporting students inspired her to increase student access by developing an endowment for the Presidential True Blue Scholarship to reduce the barrier of financial need —giving more students the opportunity to change their lives and bring their gifts to the world. Her conviction that students in rural communities deserved access to quality higher education led her to spearhead the Community Impact Program, which brings education to them, the Hometown Challenge, which helps students return home to give back in their communities. She made Boise State a founding member of REP4, a national effort to engage students themselves in redesigning higher education, so it works better for them, and supported Bronco Gap Year, which has provided students with a low-cost, flexible and individualized college learning experience.
She deepened Boise State’s community engagement and scholarly inquiry through the creation of a President’s Professor of Public Scholarship and Engagement, designed to bring our faculty’s excellent research into the service of our broader community, as well as the pathbreaking Institute for Advancing American Values, which is designed to bring people from different perspectives together to hear and learn from one another. She serves as one of 24 members of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors from the hundreds of Division I institutions across the country. She is one of a handful of presidents selected by the Federal Reserve Chair of San Francisco to consult on higher education.
She has spent the majority of her administrative career at AAU institutions. She served as the campus provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she oversaw one of the most outstanding faculties on the continent. She also served as a dean and vice provost at Arizona State University, named the most innovative in the nation six years in a row.
She remains a dedicated scholar and is author of several books and many articles on Victorian literature and culture and its relationship to our current cultural moment.