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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

Admissions Policies
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • 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.”
  • 2019 letter from Interim President Schimpf, cited in the IFF report.
Disciplinary Measures
  • 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.
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
  • 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.
  • BSU offers a minor in Critical Theory.
  • 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."
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 July 26th, 2022
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