Idaho Legislature: Democrats endorse U of I diversity class (UPDATED, 2:55 p.m.)

UPDATED, 2:55 p.m., with text of letter.

Democratic lawmakers have say they support University of Idaho Law School Dean Don Burnett's decision to require students to attend a diversity program.

"It has come to our attention that some of our colleagues in the Legislature oppose having students attend this diversity program, which is a necessary component to their degree program," the 20 Democrats said in a letter to Burnett Monday. "We hold another point of view and encourage the enrichment of both students and faculty in this area."

Twenty-one Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Burnett recently, criticizing the plan to require 360 law school students in Moscow and Boise to attend the 75-minute session.

Here's the text of the letter:

We are writing to give you and your faculty our support in conducting the upcoming program, “Dialogues on Professionalism and Diversity.” It has come to our attention that some of our colleagues in the Legislature oppose having students attend this diversity program, which is a necessary component to their degree program.

We hold another point of view and encourage the enrichment of both students and faculty in this area. Creating a welcoming environment to students of diverse backgrounds should be a top priority at the College of Law. The
American Bar Association and future employers should know the University of Idaho believes in the importance of providing these dialogues. This training will no doubt bolster your college’s reputation throughout the nation.

In order to excel in the global environment, future attomeys must be able to interact with individuals in workplace, market place, and community representing multiple dimensions of diversity — race, ethnicity, language, culture,
sexual orientation — including all the differences that make us unique.

We commend you and your iäculty for inviting Dean Blake Morant of Wake Forest Law to host this training. Your students will gain valuable skills from an open discussion on how to communicate in a professional manner with
people from all walks of life. We also recognize the importance of training future attorneys in the fundamentals of representing clients regardless of their race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientàtion, or socioeconomic
status. We believe all people deserve fair representation when pursuing justice. Any effort to further this cause should be welcomed. Thank you for committing to this important work.

Here is a link to our Tuesday editorial taking the Republican lawmakers to task.

Get Twitter updates on my blog and column and Statesman editorials. Become a follower. You can also get updates on Facebook's Idaho Statesman Opinion Page.

It is reasons like this why I donate no more to the

University of Idaho....

More yuppie liberals....

Diversity to them is anything anti-Republican, anti-Christian, pro-illegal immigration, anti-capitalism, and free degrees to the unfortunate such as done at North Dakota....

A college degree does not mean much anymore....skip school and go to work....

Very well said!

They are a disgrace to the state of Idaho, in more ways than one!

I have no idea what you are talking about

Since when did the U of I become anti Republican and anti capitalist? Not the mention the other inaccuracies in your post.

If you don't believe in a college education

why did you ever donate in the first place?

This is exactly why I donate to the University of Idaho. . .

More broad thinking, enlightened, empowered, educated folks with a world view instead of self interest. Contrary to uneducated opinion, a college degree is exactly the difference between earning an ok living and making real money. The average high-school graduate earns $25,900 a year and the average college graduate earns $45,400. Food for thought. . .

IF...

...they don't get drunk and start window diving first!

why are the Democrats getting involved in this?

A bunch of GOP lawmakers want to micromanage the university and you feel the need to jump in to the discussion? What purpose do you really think this letter serves other than to increase partisanship on this issue?

weak

KR, the editorial is some weak sauce.

You point out the Legislature has more important things to do than micromanage the University.

Where is your critic of the 20 Democrats taking their time to compose their concern?

Does the Statesman editorial board have more important things to address than putting a bias editorial together?

I suggest YOU attend a 75 HOUR training session on "how to be fair in journalism".
Maybe the L will pass a law for the same applicable to journalism majors. Yeah!