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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert W. Kustra
Bob Kustra.jpg
President of Boise State University
In office
July 1, 2003 – June 30, 2018
Preceded byCharles Ruch
Succeeded byMartin Schimpf (interim)
Marlene Tromp
43rd Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
In office
January 14, 1991 – July 1, 1998
GovernorJim Edgar
Preceded byGeorge H. Ryan
Succeeded byCorinne Wood
Personal details
Robert Walter Kustra

(1943-03-21) March 21, 1943 (age 78)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Alma materBenedictine College (BA)
Southern Illinois University Carbondale (MPA)
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (PhD)
ProfessionEducator and politician

Robert Walter Kustra (born March 21, 1943) is an American politician and academic administrator who served as the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1998 and the President of Boise State University from 2003 to 2018.


Kustra received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, his master's degree in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and his PhD in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.



Kustra served in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly. He served in the House of Representatives, representing the 4th district, from January 14, 1981 to January 12, 1983, when he began representing the 28th district in the Senate, which he did until he resigned to become the Lieutenant Governor in 1991. While in the Senate, he served as Assistant Minority Leader. He was voted Best Freshman Legislator during his first year in each house.[1]

He was elected 43rd Lieutenant Governor of Illinois as Jim Edgar's running-mate, and served from January 14, 1991 to July 1, 1998, when he resigned to become president of Eastern Kentucky University.

He sought the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 1996 to succeed Paul Simon but was defeated in the primary by Illinois Representative Al Salvi.

The defeat to Al Salvi was considered a major political upset. Kustra before the primary was considered a heavy favorite to defeat Salvi, a relatively unknown conservative state representative, and Chicago area attorney.[2]


Kustra served as a member of the faculty at University of Illinois at Springfield, Loyola University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University.[3] Kustra served as president of Eastern Kentucky University from 1998 until 2001. From 2003 to 2018, he was president of Boise State University and is a member of the board of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. He also hosted the radio show Reader's Corner on Boise State Public Radio.[4]

He has also served in the following university organizations:

While Boise State University saw enormous growth during Kustra's tenure there, his leadership was not without criticism. Congressman Raúl Labrador in August, 2017 suggested that it might be time for Kustra to leave Boise State University. Kustra and Labrador have been critical of each other.[5]

Kustra retired from his position of President of Boise State in the summer of 2018, having announced his pending retirement in November 2017.[6]


  1. ^ Handbook of Illinois Government 1991–1992. George H. Ryan, Illinois Secretary of State. p. 4.
  2. ^ Parsons, Christi. "Being a Maverick Not New To Salvi", Chicago Tribune, March 20, 1996.
  3. ^ "Profile – President Robert W. Kustra". Boise State University. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "PRX » Series » Reader's Corner with Bob Kustra". PRX - Public Radio Exchange. Retrieved March 10, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Richert, K. "The Politics of the Labrador Kustra Feud," Idaho Education News. August 22, 2017 retrieved from:
  6. ^ Dutton, Audrey; Webb, Anna (November 18, 2017). "Bob Kustra took a Boise commuter school and pushed it to become more". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved December 3, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
George H. Ryan
Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
Succeeded by
Corinne Wood
This page was last edited on 9 October 2020, at 13:05
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