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Idaho’s university system moves ahead with social justice initiatives

Idaho’s university system moves ahead with social justice initiatives

Wayne Hoffman
February 28, 2020
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February 28, 2020

Boise State University is at the epicenter of Idaho’s publicly-funded social justice programming. To maintain pole position, BSU will soon hire a “vice provost of equity and inclusion.”

The school has ended its advertising for the position, but the university student newspaper quotes campus sources who indicate that plans remain in place to fill the position this year. 

“Some universities and colleges have an entire office of diversity and equity or equity and inclusion, and we don’t, but we’re moving to hire this vice provost into that position,” states interim provost and vice president for academic affairs Dr. Tony Roark in the Arbiter. “We have lots of students with different needs and we want to make sure that we are able to support them in whatever way we can.”

BSU is making funding available for the new position even as the state’s higher education system has imposed a one-year freeze on tuition and fees. The position remains a priority even as state lawmakers contemplate a college and university budget that is as close to flat-lined as it has seen in recent years, though slightly more than what Gov. Brad Little recommended. 

You’d think that such budget restrictions, plus a written rebuke by 28 members of the Idaho House of Representatives last summer, might have been enough for BSU to get the message to stop with the social justice garbage and get back to its core mission—but it isn’t. The Arbiter's article reflects that BSU didn't get the message.

Michelle Payne is an assistant provost for academic leadership and faculty affairs at BSU and will help hire the new vice provost. She told the Arbiter, she wants to hire someone to “facilitate conversations on biases and privilege.”

The student newspaper says the vice provost position will be filled in time for the fall semester. 

Meanwhile, the university continues with its campus-wide leftist showboating, including book readings for faculty and staff on how white people are racist, and the training sessions in which students are taught to identify with “marginalized” populations by having obscenities screamed at students who pass through a “Tunnel of Oppression.” 

One former BSU student who wrote me said she was required to participate in the tunnel project during an ethics class, and that part of the tunnel included “a section where racial slurs were yelled at any white person walking through so they knew how it felt” as well as “a whole section about how evil President Trump was.”

The emphasis on social justice programming isn’t confined to Boise State. Over at the University of Idaho, the campus continues to fund and operate an LBGTQ office. University of Idaho students were recently handed a survey which asked them to indicate how well the school supports their racial and gender identities. The survey also queried students on how well the school has done in emphasizing diversity. 

Nothing has changed at Idaho’s universities since last summer, and one can only imagine the turn our schools will take as we enter a contentious 2020 election cycle. Left to their own devices, Idaho’s colleges and universities appear poised to continue to use public money to impose a radical social justice agenda on young adults. That is, unless state legislators do something about it. 

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