New Boise State University President Pressured to End Diversity and Inclusion Programs

Earlier this month, Marlene Tromp assumed the duties of president of Boise State University in Idaho. She is the first woman to lead the university.

Soon after taking office, President Tromp received a letter from 28 GOP members of the Idaho House of Representatives urging her to abandon at least some of the university’s diversity and inclusion programs. For example, the letter urged President Tromp to do away with separate graduation cremonies for Black and LGBT students. The letter said that such initiatives were “antithetical to the Idaho way.” Both houses of the Idaho legislature have huge Republican majorities.

The letter also questioned the spending of university funds on new hires and programs relating to diversity that would serve to drive up costs for all students. These included:

  • Six graduate fellowships for underrepresented minority students
  • New Student Affairs position to support first-generation students of color
  • New provost’s office position for diversity and inclusion
  • Allocating $25,000 to departments to advertise for a more diverse pool of candidates
  • Allocating $30,000 from Student Affairs to support multicultural student events

Fred Birnbaum, vice president of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a group that has called for similar rollbacks in diversity programs at state universities, issued a statement that read in part: “Boise State University’s new president, Marlene Tromp, faces an important choice: Will BSU adopt the radical social justice agenda that has roiled so many campuses? Or will she prioritize academic excellence over progressive social engineering?”

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