Twenty-eight House Republicans sent a letter to Boise State University’s new president Tuesday criticizing the university’s diversity-related programs and asking her to take the school down a different path, writes reporter Nathan Brown of the Idaho Falls Post Register. The letter, which was sent to Boise State University President Marlene Tromp and written by Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, faults these programs, from graduate fellowships for underrepresented minority students to hiring an American Indian liaison, for dividing people and connects them to rising tuition, and calls them "antithetical to the Idaho way."
The letter is framed as a response to a newsletter former BSU Acting President Martin Schimpf sent out a month ago highlighting the university’s spending on programs supporting minority students and touting efforts to increase the recruitment of minority faculty and students. Tromp was named BSU’s president in April and only recently took the reins.
Most of the lawmakers signing onto the letter were from eastern or northern Idaho, but the group also included Treasure Valley state Reps. Judy Boyle, R-Middleton; Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton; Brent Crane, R-Nampa; Mike Moyle, R-Star; Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle; Steven Harris, R-Meridian; Jason Monks, R-Nampa; and John Vander Woude, R-Nampa. You can read Brown's full report, and the full letter from the state representatives, online here. Ehardt is a first-term state representative who made news this year for pushing unsuccessful legislation to restrict sex education in Idaho schools, saying some curriculum used now "normalizes sexual activity among the youth."