Boise State resumes ethics and diversity class

In a departure from its previous plan, Boise State has reopened an ethics and diversity class suspended last week due to student complaints.

Students will take the University Foundations 200 class in an online, asynchronous format, Boise State said in a news release Wednesday.

The classes will resume even as Boise law firm Hawley Troxell continues an investigation into student complaints. On March 16, Boise State suspended the UF 200 class indefinitely, after university administrators said they had fielded “allegations that a student or students have been humiliated and degraded … for their beliefs and values.”

On Monday, the university said the class would remain on hold while Hawley Troxell conducted its investigation, and indicated students might complete the spring class through independent study. So the new online course plan represents a departure — and it came after Hawley Troxell said the online instruction would not interfere with its investigation, university spokesman Mike Sharp said Wednesday.

“This decision enables students to continue their education while the investigation into serious allegations continues,” Boise State Interim Provost Tony Roark said in a Wednesday news release. “The goal of suspending these courses was to enable the investigation to begin and ensure that this course lives up to our standard of mutual respect for faculty and students.”

The controversy over UF 200 comes as legislators have targeted Boise State, criticizing what they call a costly social-justice agenda at the state’s largest public university. Last week, the state Senate approved a 2021-22 higher education budget that cut $409,000 from Boise State’s funding, in an attempt to zero out social-justice programs on the campus.

Titled “Foundations of Ethics and Diversity,” UF 200 is a three-credit graduation requirement. Students can complete one of 52 course sections. Section options range from censorship to the refugee crisis, from folklore and graphic novels to hip hop music and street art.




Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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