Vick, Foreman decry higher education’s left-wing agenda

The two senators who opposed the 2018-19 higher education budget bill did so for political reasons.

Republican Sens. Steve Vick and Dan Foreman both decried what they consider a left-wing agenda at the state’s colleges and universities.

Neither senator actually debated against the bill Monday, which passed the Senate 33-2. But Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, took to the floor to explain his vote — a prerogative allowed under Senate rules. Relating the story of a student, who complained that a professor had started a class with a lengthy criticism of President Trump, Vick said the universities should focus more on educating students, and less on politics.

Foreman, R-Moscow, took a similar tack Monday.

“It’s wrong to take public dollars to push a political agenda,” Foreman told Bill Spence of the Lewiston Tribune. “I think (the University of Idaho) does that – and it’s a left-wing, exceedingly liberal agenda. I don’t object to a liberal viewpoint, but I want to see balance.”

Foreman represents Latah County, the home to the U of I.

The higher education budget would put $295.8 million of state general fund money into the college and university system, a 3 percent increase. The bill now goes to the House.

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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