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Boise State University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1910 University Drive
Boise, Idaho 83725
Phone
(208) 426-1000
School Information
Boise State is a Carnegie doctoral research university. With more than 22,000 students, it has the largest graduate school in the state of Idaho and grants about 46 percent of all bachelor’s degrees conferred by Idaho public universities each year. Its longstanding teaching mission and cutting-edge research program work hand in hand to provide the academic programs and innovative solutions that the modern economies in fast-growing Boise and the state of Idaho demand.
General Information
Boise State University does not appear to require critical race training for students yet. It does offer voluntary implicit bias training for faculty and staff (see details below). The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF), a free market think tank in Boise, issued a report in 2021 detailing Boise State University's dedication to social justice infused into every aspect of campus life. "Social Justice education at BSU is no longer in its infancy. It is heading toward maturity, spreading into hiring, policies, curriculum, and student life. BSU is adding to its social justice mission every year. We show this in several ways: • Administrators at BSU have repeatedly stated their commitment to developing a mature apparatus pushing social justice activism. • BSU has hired several administrators to push such initiatives since beginning its intentions to transform the university in Summer 2017. • Administrators have adopted policies in hiring and student experience to further the social justice cause and have announced a new emphasis on “inclusion and equity” throughout its colleges. • Social justice education has a significant presence in the General Education requirements at BSU. • Social justice ideology plays a sigificant part in at least 14 departments at BSU. • The Residence Hall experience is infused with social justice ideology, as is the Writing Center." (source: https://idahofreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Social-justice-in-Idaho-higher-education.pdf)

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Sociology Department offers a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate which gives participants "the knowledge, skills, and tools to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces, to navigate cross-cultural communication, and to build diverse and effective teams."
Disciplinary Measures
  • BSU outlines its process to "report academic bias" and states, "In the unfortunate event that a student believes that they have been mistreated or discriminated against in an academic setting, there are multiple options for reporting their concerns."
Program and Research Funding
  • BSU offers a minor in Critical Theory.
  • The Anti-Racism Collective was formed in the Spring of 2021 and is part of the Sociology Department at Boise State. The mission of the Collective is to "engage with pathways of emergence through collaborative research and activism in the pursuit of social change." The ARC quotes author Ibram X. Kendi who stated the following: "In the most simplest way, a not racist is a racist who is in denial, and an anti-racist is someone who is willing to admit the times in which they are being racist, and who is willing to recognize the inequities and the racial problems of our society, and who is willing to challenge those racial inequities by challenging policy."
  • The mission of the Center for Multicultural and Educational Opportunities at BSU is to "encourage and facilitate academic achievement and personal growth among under-represented groups in our schools and communities." The Center offers a variety of "federally funded programs within the Center that guide students from pre-college enrollment to post-secondary graduation."
  • The Sociology Department offers an Ethnic Studies major and minor which "seeks to understand how society is systemically and structurally formed by ideas of race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, and gender" and "provides a wide-range of methodological and critical approaches (intersectionality, relationality, anti-racism, feminism, etc.)."
  • BSU's Center for Multicultural and Educational Opportunities houses fourteen federally funded programs, several of which support "academic achievement and personal growth among under-represented groups in our schools and communities."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • Boise State ended its campus safety contract with Boise Police, after demanding more oversight into police practices and more training in implicit bias.
Resources
  • IFF reports the hiring requirements for faculty and staff: Hiring: BSU boasts that it offers its faculty “implicit bias training” as part of its recruitment efforts for new faculty. Best practices are to find candidates who satisfy the minimum qualifications and then allow diversity considerations to guide hiring. Human Resources also certifies all job pools against statistical measures to ensure that recruitment, application pools, interview pools, and final candidate pools are guided by adequate affirmative action. FACULTY TRAINING: In a letter in August of 2019, Interim President Schimpf explained his plan to use a grant to grow the Center for Teaching and Learning’s BUILD Forum. BUILD provides workshops and trainings “designed to recognize and reflect upon our perceptions around implicit bias in the classroom and workplace.” According to Schimpf, “dozens of faculty and staff have gone through the program and many more are in process — as many as there is capacity to accommodate.”
  • The IFF report also contains this statement (pg 17): Students encounter social justice education throughout the curriculum at BSU. Students cannot avoid exposure to social justice education, though they can avoid American history, government, and literature.
  • 2019 letter from Interim President Schimpf, cited in the IFF report.
  • BSU offers a Language, Race, and Ethnicity Speaker Series.
  • BSU offers a course in the Sociology Department on white privilege, critical race theory, and intersectionality.
  • BSU provides individuals with the "DEI Expert Resource List," connecting you "to 'experts' (people or organizations) that offer services or expertise in various areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion."
  • In 2021, 55 diversity classes were cancelled following lawmakers' concerns of teaching social justice practices. There were also claims of forcing a white student to apologize for his race, but these claims were deemed unfounded after the completion of an independent investigation.
  • BSU is holding its ninth annual DEI Summit from November 7-8 of 2023.
  • The Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education program in the College of Education at Boise State held its "Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference from September 14-16 of 2023. The theme of the conference is described as follows: "Healing the Mind/Body/Soul: Community, Activism, and Justice in Education, we continue to discuss the complexities of globalization, diversity, and inequality, but we also recognize the need to highlight practices in education that are healing, that restore connections within ourselves, amongst one another, and with nature."
  • The Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Certificate is offered through the Department of Sociology and gives students the "knowledge, skills, and tools to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces, to navigate cross-cultural communication, and to build diverse and effective teams."
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State University provides a variety of "Resources for Learning About Injustice and Racism in America."
  • The Claremont Institute Center for the American Way of Life published a December 2020 report titled "Social justice ideology in Idaho higher education," which is summarized as follows: "Social Justice education at BSU is no longer in its infancy. It is heading toward maturity, spreading into hiring, policies, curriculum, and student life. BSU is adding to its social justice mission every year."
  • BSU features a video of Kimberle Crenshaw to whom, the university states, is "credited with defining and exploring Critical Race Theory and the concept of intersectionality, both of which are instrumental in examining and challenging institutional oppression."
Symbolic Actions
  • Student activists forced a coffee shop off campus for supporting police officers--the owner of the coffee shop is engaged to a cop who was paralyzed after being shot on duty.
  • BSU's Sociology Department created the "Anti-Racism Center" in August 2021. In the fall, it hosted virtual lectures in a series titled “The Activism and Anti-Racism Series.”
  • In January 2022, BSU was questioned by lawmakers about offering social justice programs during their annual budget hearing. Consequently, the university's budget was cut.
  • In October 2022, BSU will be hosting its 8th annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit.
Last updated May 7th, 2024
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