LISTEN: The Legacy Of Former BSU President Dr. John Keiser

Jan 22, 2016

Dr. John Keiser served as Boise State's president between 1978 and 1991. He died Tuesday at the age of 79.
Credit Boise State University

Many Boiseans woke up Friday to news that a former president at Boise State University had passed away.

Dr. John Keiser served as president from 1978 to 1991, and is credited with beginning a major transformation at the institution. For instance, facilities like Morrison Center and Taco Bell Arena were built during his tenure. The famous blue football turf was also installed while Keiser was president.

KBSX News Director Scott Graf spoke with longtime State Board of Education member Jerry Evans about Keiser’s legacy in Boise. Their conversation began when Evans was asked about his first impressions of Keiser.

Evans was a member of the state board of education in 1991 when that body voted to fire Keiser. Evans says the dismissal was a result of tension between the president and the board over Keiser’s push to move the Boise State football program to the Division One level. Evans was the lone vote against the dismissal, because, he says, he didn’t feel like the firing was fair and was "not representative of the effort" Keiser had put into Boise State.

In 1993, Keiser was hired by Southwest Missouri State University – now Missouri State - where he served 13 years as president. He died Tuesday at his Idaho home at the age of 79. 

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