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Politics & Government

Boise State University Suspends Diversity Classes Over Student Complaints

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Roam Yocham
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Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University is suspending dozens of required undergraduate diversity classes after allegations that at least one student was “humiliated and degraded” for their beliefs.

Boise State requires sophomores to take one University Foundations 200 course to graduate.

They can choose from 52 classes, which all focus on diversity and ethics in different subjects, like technology, the environment and sports.

In an email sent to faculty Monday, Boise State President Marlene Tromp said it is “never acceptable” for students to be “humiliated and degraded” for their beliefs and is suspending these classes immediately.

“In conjunction with academic leadership, we will determine next steps to ensure that everyone is still able to complete the course over the coming week and will communicate with all students in these classes,” Tromp wrote.

She said a review of the program for sophomores was already underway and that students have several ways to report instructor bias, including anonymously.

“Further, we will develop and deliver a series of professional development sessions for faculty on fostering learning environments characterized by mutual respect,” Tromp said.

The classes have been under scrutiny by right-wing lawmakers and lobbyists who say Boise State is using taxpayer dollars to push social justice education.

Legislators have proposed cutting about $400,000 from the school over its diversity initiatives, though some wanted to slash millions from its budget.

Editor’s note: Boise State Public Radio receives some funding from Boise State University, but is editorially independent.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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