Dems and BSU Elites to Critics:
Don’t Question School’s Radical Agenda
Shortly after 28 Republican legislators let Boise State University President Marlene Tromp know they’re concerned the school is using student and taxpayer dollars to advance an openly leftist agenda, top college officials and Idaho’s legislative Democrats made it absolutely clear there’s nothing to talk about—unless we discuss how much more money the school will get.
While Tromp hasn’t rescinded her promise to hear legislators out, other university officials dug in their heels. BSU Interim Provost Tony Roark snootily opined in an email to colleagues that it’s just “difficult for people outside of higher ed to understand the nature of the work that we do.” Tromp will engage in “enlightening dialogue” with legislators, Roark said, about the programs that drew their ire.
Andrew Giacomazzi, the Associate Dean of the School of Public Service, dismissed legislators’ concerns about the expense of BSU’s discrimination agenda, acknowledging it “does incur some financial costs.” However, he added “it is simply too costly not to support a diverse and inclusive Boise State University.”
By “diverse and inclusive,” Giacomazzi means graduation ceremonies that segregate students by race and sexual orientation, a school policy that gives hiring preferences to job applicants based on minority status, using scarce funds to hire staff whose help is exclusive to Native American populations, and inviting children of illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded scholarships. This inclusive campus looks less like an Idaho public college and more like a government-funded social justice experiment, where socialist activists get a chance to run their very own university.
Needless to say, all 21 legislative Democrats are gleeful, and why wouldn’t they be for the future voters these schools are breeding? They wrote Tromp a counter-letter to slam Republicans’ supposed mistreatment of Idaho’s colleges and universities.
“Because of the legislature’s neglect, tuition costs are rising,” legislative Democrats complained to Tromp. “While some Majority legislators don’t see the need to effectively fund higher education, our educational leaders, like you, continue to demonstrate creativity in the quest to keep college affordable.”
Right, a neglectful Legislature caused tuition costs to rise.
Of course, the Democrats know the Legislature handed Idaho’s higher education system a 46 percent increase in taxpayer funds from fiscal years 2012 to 2020. Yet since 2012, college students have faced a 38 percent increase in the average tuition and fees at Idaho’s four main universities and colleges. Democratic legislators know school officials continue to scream poverty while still finding money for programs that treat certain students and staff as victims who need special treatment in order to succeed.
Republican lawmakers who penned the letter to Tromp are bothered by the fact BSU, a public university that graduates fewer than 40 percent of its students in four years, adopted a hiring protocol that obsesses over race, gender, and sexuality instead of focusing on attracting the most qualified professors and college administrators. And they’re concerned the college emphasized giving scholarships to children of illegal aliens while complaining there aren’t enough funds to meet the needs for children of legal residents.
Instead of prioritizing academic excellence, colleges and universities have taken it upon themselves to spend our money categorizing people based on tired tropes of left-wing identity politics. Even though we pay the bills, they’re not asking for our opinions about it. Higher ed just needs us—uneducated serfs who find it difficult to understand the complex nature of the work they do—to stop asking questions and fund it.
Wayne Hoffman is president of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
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