. . .
However, the claim that the right’s war on critical race theory doesn’t threaten academic freedom is also wrong. Consider what just happened in Idaho, where last week Boise State University suspended dozens of classes, online and in person, dealing with different aspects of diversity. This week, they were reinstated, but online only and “asynchronously,” without any live discussions.
These suspensions happened the day before the Idaho State Senate voted to cut $409,000 from the school’s budget, an amount meant to reflect what Boise State spends on social justice programs. The budget bill also banned state colleges and universities from using any appropriated funds to “support social justice ideology student activities, clubs, events and organizations on campus,” and requires schools to report all social justice spending to the Legislature. The Idaho Statesman quoted one lawmaker saying of schools, “They’re going to get the message.”
Some of the facts behind the class suspensions are unclear. In an email to the campus, university leaders described “a series of concerns, culminating in allegations that a student or students have been humiliated and degraded in class on our campus for their beliefs and values.” An English professor at the university tweeted that the allegation concerned a taped Zoom discussion of white privilege that had been handed over to the Legislature, but so far it hasn’t emerged publicly. (The tweets have since been deleted.)