Amid rumors of a video that shows a student being targeted during a diversity lesson at Boise State University, administrators have abruptly suspended all of the school’s general education classes called “University Foundations 200: Foundations of Ethics and Diversity.”
“We have been made aware of a series of concerns, culminating in allegations that a student or students have been humiliated and degraded in class on our campus for their beliefs and values,” states a March 16 memo from President Marlene Tromp to the campus community.
“This is never acceptable; it is not what Boise State stands for; and we will not tolerate this behavior,” Tromp stated. “…Given the weight of cumulative concerns, we have determined that, effective immediately, we must suspend UF 200.”
She goes on to note that academic leadership will determine next steps “to ensure that everyone is still able to complete the course.”
Tromp’s decision came around the same time as Idaho lawmakers passed a state education budget that takes away about $409,000 from Boise State University because of its social justice curriculum, Idaho Ed News reports.
Tromp’s memo does not mention the alleged video. Boise State’s spokesperson Mike Sharp told The College Fix on Friday “we have not seen any video of the alleged incident.”
However, the Idaho Freedom Foundation has published screenshots of since-deleted tweets from a BSU assistant professor of English who stated that a “student in a university foundations class taped a zoom discussion on white privilege, in which apparently a white student was made to feel uncomfortable, and sent the video to ID state legislature, who are ‘enraged.’ BSU suspended all UF 200 classes mid semester as a result.”
Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Anna Miller told The College Fix in a telephone interview Friday that her group has submitted public records act requests for copies of student complaints over UF 200 — as well as for a copy of the alleged video.
Asked if she believes such a video exists, Miller said yes.
“There is no reason that they would have taken such drastic action unless something really drastic had happened,” Miller said.
Miller is co-author of a December 2020 report titled “Social justice ideology in Idaho higher education” and said UF 200 has been a cause of concern for quite some time.
“In our report we mapped out that general education courses the students are required to take are infused with social justice ideology,” Miller told The Fix.
In a piece Miller penned March 18 for the foundation’s website, she asks: “How extensive is the social justice rot?”
“Our report on social justice ideology shows that Boise State is building a social justice university. This ideology asserts that all whites and especially males as oppressors, and that racial minorities are permanent victims,” Miller wrote.
“Social Justice institutions like Boise State then construct an environment that seeks to shame and vent hatred on the oppressors and elevate and insulate the oppressed from any kind of criticism.”
UPDATE: A week after the classes were suspended, Boise State resumed them. The Idaho Statesman reported March 24 that “University officials don’t know which of the 52 diversity classes prompted the complaint. They hired Boise law firm Hawley Troxell to investigate — and the investigation is still ongoing.” … “This decision enables students to continue their education while the investigation into serious allegations continues,” said interim provost Tony Roark.