Opposition to Diversity Programs Contributes to the Defeat of Idaho’s Higher Education Budget

The Republican-controlled Idaho House of Representatives voted down the proposed budget for the state’s public four-year colleges and universities: Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College. The bill called for $307 million in state support, just a 0.3 percent increase from the budget passed last year.

One of the reasons that the budget was voted down was because legislators believed that state universities had not taken sufficient action after a letter was sent last summer to new Boise State University President Marlene Tromp. The letter questioned many of the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts that were called “antithetical to the Idaho way.” Among these programs were separate graduation events for Black and LGBT students, graduate fellowships reserved for students from underrepresented groups, financial support for multicultural student centers on campus, and the hiring of administrators to oversee diversity initiatives.

GOP House member Vito Barbieri explained his opposition to the budget by stating: “I can’t imagine the number of vice provosts that must have been hired by these universities when we’re talking about equality and inclusion instead of reading, writing, and arithmetic. We’ve gotta figure out a way to stop rubber stamping these budgets and begin to send the message that we do have a say on what is taught and we do have a say on who they are hiring, for what purposes they are hiring.”

Others in the legislature objected to funding levels that were more than the governor had recommended due to declining enrollments at four-year colleges and universities. The legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee will draft another budget proposal for consideration.

 

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Yale Issues Formal Apology After Research Finds Historic Ties to Slavery

"Today, on behalf of Yale University, we recognize our university’s historical role in and associations with slavery, as well as the labor, the experiences, and the contributions of enslaved people to our university’s history, and we apologize for the ways that Yale’s leaders, over the course of our early history, participated in slavery," says Yale University President Peter Salovey, and Josh Bekenstein, senior trustee of the Yale Corporation.

Kean University Establishes New Center for Africana Studies

“This new center epitomizes the university’s commitment to equity and to serving our state, particularly our urban communities,” said Kean University president Lamont Repollet. 

Pew Research Center Provides Insight into Share of Black-Owned Businesses in the United States

Through analyzing data from the United States Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation, the Pew Research Center found that Black-owned businesses make up 3 percent of companies and earn 1 percent of gross revenue in the United States.

Martin Lemellle Appointed the Eleventh President of Grambling State University

Dr. Martin Lemelle has been serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Featured Jobs