Charles Ruch (pronounced “rook”) became Boise State’s fifth president after the State Board of Education dismissed President John Keiser in September 1991.
Ruch received a Bachelor’s in Chemistry from the College of Wooster (1959), a Master’s in Education from Northwestern University (1960), and a Ph.D. in Education from Northwestern University (1966). He also received a Certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University (1988).
He was acting chair of the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Pittsburgh (1969-1974), associate and acting dean in the School of Education (1974-1977). At Virginia Commonwealth University, he served as Dean of the School of Education (1977-1985), and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (1985-1993). After his presidency at BSU, he went on to serve as president for the School of Mines and Technology in South Dakota (2003-2008), he served as Interim Dean for Texas Tech University (2009-2011) and for the Armstrong State University (2014-2015). As well as an extensive academic career, Ruch is also a author of more than 40 pieces, ranging from books to grants.
As president, he saw the construction of the University Village, Children’s Center, Multi-purpose Classroom facility, Micron Engineering Center, Harry W. Morrison Civil Engineering, Gateway Center, a parking structure, Student Recreation Center, and expansions on the Alberton Library, the SUB, and the Stadium.
He also helped implement the doctorate program, expanded the bachelor and master’s programs, started to develop a Canyon County campus, and the athletic budget doubled and school moved to the WAC, and installed a campus computer system upgrade worth $20 million.
In fall 2002, shortly after Ruch announced his retirement the following year, enrollment reached a record high of 17,174 students or 12,737 full-time equivalent, a 14% growth from his first year. In his decade as president, degrees conferred increased from 119 to 191, the budget increased from $91.8 million to $222.9 million, and the Boise State Foundation assets increased from $27.7 million to $71.5 million.
On November 2, 2017 for the 20th anniversary of the College of Engineering, the engineering building was named after Ruch.
University Archives, RG 216.1, 216.2, 216.3
Written by Annika Severts, Spring 2018 intern