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Social Justice Ideology at University of Idaho

Social Justice Ideology at University of Idaho

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 4, 2021

By Dr. Scott Yenor and Anna K. Miller

Since we released our report on Boise State University, curious minds have asked us if things are as bad in Idaho’s other universities. “Wait and see” has been our answer. 

Wait no longer. 

Our new report answers the question, “How far has social justice ideology penetrated the educational experience at the University of Idaho?”

The answer is troubling. The University of Idaho has well-developed plans to expand its social justice agenda into all aspects of the university’s operations. It developed a strategic plan for diversity in 2004, but that plan was mostly shelved until the last few years. In 2019, UI adopted a new and improved 23-page Diversity Plan to guide its operations. It is a typical strategic plan, with overall goals that are then boiled down to specific objectives and employees with specific responsibilities to carry them out. It is a model of thoroughness. 

For example, one of its goals is “curriculum diversification,” which is defined as “developing strategies and innovations to enhance and promote multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion in the undergraduate and graduate curricula.” This is then made into objectives, like creating and maintaining institutes, centers and programs like “Latinx Studies,” “Queer Studies,” and “Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies.” Its provosts and deans are in charge of doing such things.  

Such plans exist all over the university, from hiring (where it has adopted goals for minority hiring) to student recruitment to changing the environment on campus. UI’s plans are extensive and transformative, though it is only in the opening stages of executing those plans. It’s a minor league player readying for the social justice warrior major leagues.

Its major colleges and departments at the beginning points of executing these plans. The College of Engineering leads the way with a new Director of Engineering Diversity. Will every college have one of these in three years? That seems to be the goal. Then they will get an associate dean for diversity in each college. Then department representatives. That is how the infrastructure grows everywhere in the country.

The student experience has many courses infused with social justice ideology.  Students must take at least five general education courses infused with social justice ideology. No required course at UI demands aims at cultivating basic knowledge of American civics or an appreciation of American history; instead, all students must be taught that America is racist and sexist and so on in five courses. Is this the education the taxpayers of Idaho want their universities to support?

Fourteen departments are infused with social justice ideology. 

Other elements of the campus experience are troubling. Its hiring process suggests that most professors at UI are bigots who must be overseen for their implicit biases in the hiring process.  Its five-person Office of Civil Rights and Investigations is looking for work, since there are almost no investigations accomplished every year. It has a large bias response team, ready to investigate alleged hate speech. 

Read more about it in our report, which takes documents from UI’s website and presents them in a readable, systematic way so that everyone can know about the progress of this ideology on this campus.

UI has not attacked the police, like Boise State. It does not have a group of radical students empowered to oversee university vendors, like Boise State. The spirit of the UI seems more professional, more about planning and executing, more about being systematic and thorough.  UI is not obviously filled with diversity fanatics. It is filled with diversity professionals. 

And if left unchecked, they will systematically, thoroughly plan their way into a Social Justice university in the next decade.  

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