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U of I President asks lawmakers for help following the killing of four students, fields questions on school's DEI budget

A large red brick building at the University of Idaho. There are snow covered trees in front of the building.
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio

On Friday, University of Idaho president Scott Green made an emotional plea to lawmakers for an additional million dollars to help the school recover costs responding to the murder of four students in November.

In front of the Joint Finance Appropriation Committee, Green asked budget writers to approve Gov. Brad Little’s request to grant the supplemental money.

“We appreciate the line item to help us recover a portion of the expenses we incurred and respond to in responding to the crime,” he said.

Green added the majority of the cost went towards mobilizing the Idaho State Police in the crime’s aftermath.

In line with his questioning of Boise State President Marlene Tromp earlier in the week, Sen. Scott Herndon followed up by asking Green about the University of Idaho’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion budget.

Herndon asked why the university seemed to spend more money on its DEI programs than others in the state.

“We don't, is the big answer to that,” Green pushed back, saying 21 out of their 23 DEI positions were funded by outside sources. He said two investigations by a Boise law firm showed the school's DEI budget was proportional to other Idaho institutions.

“This year and last year they found no evidence to support what some say that disadvantages non-minority students and that they are left to suffer,” Green said, adding DEI programs were necessary to remain competitive and to support diverse populations, such as first-generation students, migrants, women in engineering, and veterans.

I joined Boise State Public Radio in 2022 as the Canyon County reporter through Report for America, to report on the growing Latino community in Idaho. I am very invested in listening to people’s different perspectives and I am very grateful to those who are willing to share their stories with me. It’s a privilege and I do not take it for granted.

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