The Statesman reports that BSU gets only 2/3s the funding that U of I gets. In the back and forth between proponents of the two universities, the UI folks tout their alleged academic superiority. Well, to the extent that's accurate, perhaps that extra 33% funding is a part of the reason.
I just think that the State Board has a UI tilt, and the legislature has an anti-Boise tilt, and put together, BSU suffers. As I've written before, I think over time the UI tilt will lessen.
The upcoming reapportionment should help move in the right direction by shifting legislators away from the sticks (Ha!) to Metropolis.
I'm kidding about the sticks; I was raised in a small SE Idaho town. I remember even then an anti-Boise feeling was widely shared around the state.