Boise State University (BSU) has suspended more than 50 diversity-related courses following complaints from a student who was allegedly “humiliated and degraded” for their beliefs.
In an email to faculty on Monday, President Marlene Tromp said it is “never acceptable” for students to be scrutinized for their beliefs and canceled all 52 of its University Foundations (UF) 200 courses, which cover diversity and ethics.
The university will also provide professional development sessions for faculty to help them create learning environments that are “characterized by mutual respect,” Tromp wrote.
The cutting of UF 200 classes affects approximately 35 faculty members and 1,300 students, the Idaho Statesman reports.
In recent years, there has been an uptick in mandatory diversity/ethnic studies courses at colleges and universities, with research-proven benefits for students such as having a better understanding of the culture, experiences, and oppression of ethnically and racially underrepresented groups.
In 2019, the same year INSIGHT did a national investigation on higher education spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, Republican lawmakers in Idaho began a push to cut millions of funding dollars for BSU’s DEI efforts. Legislators argued that allocating money toward DEI programming goes against the “Idaho way” and could instead be used to lower tuition costs.
This month, Idaho lawmakers proposed cutting more than $400,000 to BSU’s DEI budget.