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College and university presidents in willful defiance as they maintain social justice programs

College and university presidents in willful defiance as they maintain social justice programs

Wayne Hoffman
February 3, 2022
Wayne Hoffman
February 3, 2022

It should be obvious to everyone at this point that the presidents of Idaho’s public colleges and universities don’t care one bit what you think about how they spend your money. They’re going to do whatever they damn well please, regardless of how instructed by lawmakers. And your job as a taxpayer is to pay the bills and shut up. 

That’s very much the answer that Boise State President Marlene Tromp gave when Rep. Ron Nate asked her last week what the university has done to comply with the Legislature’s directive to reduce social justice spending by a measly $1.5 million last year. Tromp told Nate and legislative budget writers — the people she’s been defying since the budget requirement was imposed in July — that the school’s approach to social justice has “evolved.” That’s apparently a fancy ivy tower way to say “expanded,” because that’s what BSU has done.

Not to be outdone, University of Idaho President Scott Green’s approach to demonstrating he would ignore their decision to cut $500,000 from social justice initiatives was to commission a law firm to write a report, laughably described in the press as “independent,” that makes excuses for why the school’s social justice programs should carry on. 

So concerned was Green about complying with the Legislature’s edicts that he waited until September to sign the contract for the law firm to develop the report, which was released at last week’s joint budget committee meeting. While annoying that public money was wasted on a self-serving report that attacks the Idaho Freedom Foundation, it’s more outrageous that the money was used to make excuses for the University of Idaho’s continued promotion of leftism. 

At least Idaho State University’s Kevin Satterlee did something, unlike his counterparts. Satterlee redirected $500,000 away from social justice spending. But while taxpayers aren't on the hook for evil leftist programs, students are; Satterlee ordered student fees to fund social justice spending. It’s still not a winning response. 

This conversation about social justice indoctrination on Idaho’s college campuses has been going on since the extent of the programming came to light in 2019. In 2020, lawmakers directed the colleges and universities to cut administrative bloat and get back to their core missions. The schools responded by doing nothing. Last year, lawmakers specified a dollar amount that needed to be cut and targeted social justice programs, and yet nothing has changed.

BSU still has a gender equity center, BUILD program, Blue Sky Institute, and at least four administrators dedicated to diversity and inclusion. The University of Idaho still has an LBGTQIA office, a Women’s Center, an Office of Multicultural Affairs, and an Office of Equity and Diversity. Idaho State University has an Office of Equity and Inclusion and a Gender Resource Center. All three schools offer degrees, courses, and certificates that are infused with social justice ideology, and they’re all funded by Idahoan taxpayers.

It’s apparent that $2.5 million wasn’t enough to get the higher education system’s attention. If lawmakers don’t make them hurt this time around, by cutting deep instead of demanding a cut that’s close to a rounding error, nothing will change.

View Comments
  • john livingston says:

    Who represents the values of the people of Idaho on The State Board of Education?

  • KJ says:

    Notable strategy for ending tyranny in your school districts.

    A single mother employed this strategy and it worked big time.

    Every public official has a surety bond.

    This mother got a hold of the bond and filed a claim against the the superintendent of the school.

    Because she listed all of the illegal activities in the claim they couldn’t fight back against it.

    All state and federal funding stopped until the claim was resolved. In her claim she listed all the laws being broken by pushing their restrictions and because of this the school had to lift the mandates and she effectively freed her school district.

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    Efforts by the legislature to reduce finding to universities are laudable and should be encouraged. However, given the level of corruption by the fake "conservatives" that rule the Stupid Party in Idaho, that tactic may have limited efficacy.

    Better for parents to stop pushing college as the pathway to success which several generations have been propagandized to believe. The news that male college enrollment has declined in recent years is a white pill. It looks like young men have begun to realize that they are better off learning skills that don't require a fraudulent college degree. Plus they may be realizing that the harpies that have been allowed to run colleges don't want men there anyway. Perhaps eventually, smart women will follow suit, leaving our "higher" education wastelands to obese purple haired feminists and emasculated low T "men."

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    Best solution to the crises in "higher" Ed is for people to vote with their money, and opt out of the diploma mill scam. It is what will get the attention of the money grubbing idealists that have infested universities.

    • Al says:

      I'm part-way with you on this, Bruce. Better yet, I'd say, is to dramatically change, reduce, or eliminate low-interest student loans and forgiveness and deferment programs. Stop giving enticements to rack up huge debt. Force colleges to be more resourceful with funds they get and more competitive. That would result in more focused students intent on starting a career rather than taking frivolous classes just delaying the time when they have to start a career

  • Bobby W says:

    "It should be obvious" is how Hoffman likes to start his opinion pieces on this topic.

    He started off with this last June about BSU hiring a law firm to conduct allegations of Critical Race Theory on campus. He said, "It should be obvious that Boise State University’s “independent” investigation into problems with the school’s mandatory racism and intolerance class known as University Foundations 200 was just a public relations ploy."

    Well, he was wrong. Though he'll never admit being wrong. Because, well, that's just wrong. Right? Or do I have that backwards? Logic and truth seem to get mixed up in my mind whenever I read his articles...

    Turns out what is "obvious" is that Hoffman loves to fan flames. Flames started by fictitious stories from the far-right. Turns out what is "obvious" is that the whole story about a student in tears after being called "stupid" in class and being forced to apologize for being white was pure bunk. Total bunk.

    Friends, readers who want to know what is true, read the unbiased and pure truth about that event, as researched by the reputable Hawley Troxell law firm: https://www.idahostatesman.com/latest-news/article251648568.ece/BINARY/2021.05.19%20BSU%20Investigation%20Report.pdf

    What is obvious is that "indoctrination" is not occurring at BSU. Course "offerings" are, literally, just that. Even if social justice topics ARE occurring there, why is IFF saying adults voluntarily paying for such classes are "indoctrinated"? And IFF's history of reporting on this is, to say it bluntly, "obviously" untrustworthy.

  • Bobby W says:

    Lets kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Lets get McGeachin to enroll at BSU where she will be instructed on how to read the Idaho constitution that she so often calls upon but always misquotes and misapplies. Like in her demand that Lawrence Wasden and the AG office fix the problem with homeless protesters in Boise.
    What? The ISP is the jurisdiction law enforcement agency to do so, per that pesky constitution she misquoted.
    And the truly wonderful effect IFF would enjoy having McGeachin on campus would be the dramatic decrease in enrollment resulting from her presence

  • Interesting says:

    Is Idaho Freedom Foundation going to pay back $2 million in PPP loans I want to see that first. Maybe that’s why your so pushing with American t Exchange Committee it’s arm American Federation of Children in Idaho. $2.5 million for a college most likely isn’t enough if $2 million isn’t enough for Idaho Freedom Foundation. Since your working yourself in the educational system what if the public doesn’t want to be your pawns. Don’t throw things at Wayne but he will throw things at you. There are jobs like social workers that actually have to take those classes. Remember before going to College what you pay for Wayne might have $20 million taken from your classes.

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