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Posts tagged: UI Law School

Are UI Law School Problems Isolated?

Two years ago, a bit of trouble started brewing at the University of Idaho College of Law. The eyes in pictures of gay and civil rights student activists were gouged out, or pierced by pins. A short time later, someone posted fliers saying that Mormons, Catholics and other Christians are at the root of anti-gay sentiment. And more recently, a student made disparaging comments about women, saying they had no place in law school and should be at home bearing children. The tense climate created by these incidents led an accreditation team to strongly recommend diversity and professionalism training for everyone in the law school. Last month, law school faculty members decided to make the sessions mandatory for themselves and all students. But two students said that while such incidents are disturbing, they are in no way indicative of the general culture at the law school/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you support mandatory diversity training for UI Law School students?

Dunno Much About Diversity Training

Idaho lawmakers can't do math. They have missed the state's revenue targets two years in a row. They can't run a school system. The results are apparent. And they have difficulty accepting new ideas. Just take a look at how tone deaf they've been about protecting gays from discrimination. But they do know one thing better than anyone else: what it takes to be a good lawyer. At least 20 of them think so. Along with House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls, and Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, this crew wants University of Idaho law school Dean Don Burnett to lighten up on the diversity training/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you wary of diversity training?

Edit: Idaho R’s Need Sensitivity Class

University of Idaho administrators have a lot to deal with. Or, perhaps, these professional academics really don’t know much about running a university. Either way, U of I need not worry about going it alone. Not when the Idaho Legislature is around. Recently, 21 legislators took some time away from their day job to tell the U of I law school how not to mandate attendance at a diversity workshop. Unsolicited advice is just one more service this Legislature offers. These lawmakers wrote a letter to U of I law school Dean Don Burnett, criticizing the decision to require the school’s 360 students to attend a 75-minute program in professionalism and diversity. If a student doesn’t attend, a note may be placed in his or her file — and that’s what set off the legislators/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Does the Idaho Legislature need sensitivity training?

Read more here:

43rdSB: UI Law School Not To Blame

At 43rd State Blues, Sisyphus addresses the flap between the Idaho Legislature and the UI Law School re: attendance at a diversity training course: “Dean Burnett's response letter is a model of diplomacy providing a rational and informative response to powerful and vindictive law makers with control over funding for Idaho's only College of Law. Unfortunately the lazy media reports have a totally different characterization, that Dean Burnett was justifiably called on the carpet for heavy handed tactics designed to impugn the reputation of the students, when just the opposite is true. Dean Burnett was endeavoring to save the school the embarrassment of losing accreditation because a few students made discriminatory, prejudicial or comments evincing bias, to the accreditation committee.” More here.

Question: Who was at fault in the flap between the Legislature and the UI Law School?

UI Law School Dean Ap-hollow-gizes

University of Idaho College of Law Dean Don Burnett (pictured) has responded to 20 Republican lawmakers who are concerned with what they perceive to be a threat from the school over student attendance. In a message back to the group, Burnett apologized for the harshness of his tone in a message about diversity training, but says he plans to proceed with the workshops, slated for next week. “By the way, I have apologized in two open forums with students for the seemingly harsh tone of the language you have quoted,” Burnett wrote. “My intent was simply to be open and transparent, but I could have chosen my words more carefully”/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.


Nonini, Others Caution UI Law School

Twenty Idaho legislators, including House Speaker Lawerence Denney and House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, have signed a letter asking University of Idaho Law School to jettison a perceived threat involving a diversity program next week. In the letter obtained by, the 20 Republicans have asked the Law School to ease up on threats they believe it’s making over diversity training slated for next week on its Boise and Moscow campuses. The lawmakers were concerned that failure to attend “Dialogues on Professionalism and Diversity” would be noted on the permanent record of individual law students. In a message to UI Law School Dean Don Burnett, the legislators noted that students are required to take the course and focused on this statement as threatening: ” Any student who does not participate, and has not been excused, will have a memorandum to that effected placed in his or her student record file. More from Idaho Reporter here.

Question: Should the law students be required to attend the class?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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