Idaho State University

Location: Pocatello, Idaho
Website: http://www.isu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Idaho State University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • Idaho State University: Suspension of Faculty Senate

    March 2, 2011

    Following a series of disputes over academic freedom and shared governance between the ISU faculty and senior administration, ISU President Arthur C. Vailas and the Idaho State Board of Education ordered the suspension of ISU’s Faculty Senate. A provisional senate was elected by the faculty, which returned most of the former senators to the new body, but ISU has refused to recognize its activities. FIRE and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have raised serious concern over the implications of the unilateral dissolution of ISU’s representative faculty body, and the AAUP opened a formal investigation into ISU’s suspension of the Faculty […]

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Red Light Policies

  • Policy #5000: Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Bullying: Repeated adverse acts or actions directed at a specific person(s) that are unwanted and unprovoked and are used to establish and maintain an actual or perceived imbalance of power between the aggressor and the subject of aggression. … Bullying includes harsh practical jokes, spreading rumors and gossip, teasing, taunting and using social media to humiliate and ridicule others; using aggressive communication such as insults, offensive remarks, shouting, yelling, angry outbursts, and invading others personal space; and taking intentional actions to exclude or ostracize others from a group.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Standards of Residence: Harassment

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    University Housing will not tolerate verbal, physical, or sexual harassment. This includes direct or indirect comments, or other communications that may be intimidating, coercive, or abusive to another person.

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  • Standards of Residence: Community Disturbance

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    A resident may face disciplinary action for unreasonable or unsatisfactory personal conduct, including threatening/harassing behavior to an individual or community within University Housing.

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  • Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity: Title IX Notice of Non-Discrimination

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that includes, but is not limited to:

    1. Sexual violence
    2. Sexual advances
    3. Requests for sexual favors
    4. Indecent exposure
    5. Verbal, nonverbal or physical unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature

    These actions are considered sexual harassment when such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, is considered to be limiting the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the university. Acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility if based on gender or gender-stereotyping may be considered sexual harassment, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

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  • Facilities Use: Procedures for Rallies or Demonstrations on Campus

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Reservations shall be made at least 24 hours in advance of the event.

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  • Policy #5000: Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence. There are two types of sexual harassment: Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment.

    Hostile Environment Harassment: Sexually harassing conduct that is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from a University program or employment.

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Green Light Policies
  • Policy #5000: Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Harassment: Unwanted or unwelcome behavior or conduct toward an individual because of his or her protected class that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to have the impact of unreasonably interfering with a person’s ability to live, learn, work or recreate at the University.

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  • Policy #5000: Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Sending obscene, harassing, or threatening messages.

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  • Policy #5000: Student Code of Conduct

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 18, 2015

    Persistent speech, expression or action that is so objectively offensive or concerning that it interferes with other’s ability to live, learn, work or pursue educational opportunities at the University. … The University has used the word “concerning” to represent certain types of speech that would lead hearers of the speech to become concerned for health, safety or wellbeing of the speaker. For example, if a student persistently speaks of suicide to his or her roommates but is unresponsive to their requests to get help, the student may be disrupting the living environment because the roommates are unable to focus on anything other than preventing the suicide.

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  • Court affirms dismissal of Idaho professor’s case

    December 2, 2011

    by Associated Press Idaho Press-Tribune   POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) – The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a professor who claims he was wrongfully terminated. The justices issued a ruling Wednesday in the case of Habib Sadid, who claims he was fired from Idaho State University for publicly voicing his discontent with administration policies. Sadid sued the university in state court in 2008 while he was still employed at the school, but the case was dismissed. Officials at the Pocatello university lauded the decision of the high court to affirm the dismissal of the […]

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  • ‘Off With His Head’ In Idaho

    May 7, 2012

    This week saw another ridiculously petty installment in the drama over the rights of faculty members at Idaho State University, where President/Emperor Arthur Vailas and Provost/Grand Vizier Barbara Adamcik have been waging a war against the Faculty Senate for more than a year. Beginning with Vailas’ suspension of the Faculty Senate in the wake of a vote of no confidence in Vailas and the previous provost, the administration of Idaho State has been spending its time attempting to hamstring its critics in increasingly ridiculous ways, most recently by denying the faculty senate-in-exile access to its usual university email listserv to […]

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  • Idaho State Faculty Sue University and President Alleging First Amendment Violations

    February 16, 2012

    On Tuesday, a group of faculty members at Idaho State University (ISU) filed a federal lawsuit against their institution and ISU President Arthur C. Vailas, alleging violations of their First Amendment rights.  The group, called the Idaho State University Faculty Association for the Preservation of the First Amendment, alleges that the university blocked ISU’s Provisional Faculty Senate from sending emails to the entire faculty at ISU, thereby preventing the Provisional Faculty Senate from effectively communicating with its constituents regarding the important matter of a new faculty constitution. The group’s federal complaint further alleges that as a result of this tactic, ISU was […]

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  • AAUP Sanctions Idaho State University for Suspending Faculty Senate

    June 13, 2011

    In a letter in March, FIRE raised serious concern about the February decision by Idaho State University (ISU) President Arthur C. Vailas and the Idaho State Board of Education to suspend ISU’s Faculty Senate just one week after it recorded a vote of no confidence in Vailas. The administration had cited a “stalemate” with the faculty. Indeed, the suspension followed longstanding tension between the Faculty Senate and Vailas’ administration, evidenced in disputes over the termination of a faculty member who criticized the university, a vote of no confidence in ISU Provost Gary Olson, and the expression of many other serious concerns about Vailas’ leadership (PDF) and proposed reorganization of the […]

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  • Idaho State University Slammed by AAUP for Treatment of Faculty in New Report

    June 6, 2011

    We’ve written in recent months about Idaho State University (ISU), where faculty-administration relations have been at an impasse since around the time when the ISU Faculty Senate was suspended by the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE). FIRE asked ISU President Arthur Vailas to defend the university’s treatment of its representative faculty body, traditionally an important part of shared governance at ISU. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), not surprisingly, has pressed hard for the faculty at Idaho State as well. Vailas’ responses have not persuaded the AAUP that all is well—quite the opposite. The AAUP recently issued a […]

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  • This Week in the News: Adam’s Vanderbilt Speech Still Provoking Discussion

    March 11, 2011

    Torch readers will remember that Adam delivered a speech at Vanderbilt University on February 23rd about Vanderbilt’s restrictive policies and free speech violations at other institutions. Trevor Williams of The Vanderbilt Torch (no relation) was the most recent author to write about Adam’s critique of Vanderbilt’s sexual harassment policy, community creed, and other speech-restrictive policies. Out west, the Idaho State Board of Education voted to suspend the Idaho State University (ISU) Faculty Senate on February 17, just one week after the Faculty Senate recorded a vote of no confidence in ISU President Arthur C. Vailas. A recent post in The […]

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  • Following Suspension of Faculty Senate, FIRE Asks for Answers at Idaho State University

    March 3, 2011

    In a letter yesterday, FIRE called upon Idaho State University President Arthur C. Vailas to explain the Idaho State Board of Education’s recent decision to suspend Idaho State’s Faculty Senate. The suspension was levied on February 17, just one week after the Faculty Senate recorded a vote of no confidence in Vailas. As The Chronicle of Higher Education reported: In an apparently unprecedented step, the Idaho State Board of Education voted on Thursday to suspend the Faculty Senate of Idaho State University and instructed the university’s president to put in place an interim faculty advisory structure. In a statement released after […]

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  • State Board of Education Suspends Idaho State’s Faculty Senate

    February 18, 2011

    Within days of a faculty vote of “no confidence” in Idaho State University President Arthur Vailas, the Idaho Board of Education has voted to dissolve the university’s faculty senate, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) and others are reporting. This drastic action follows several months of increasingly sour relations between Vailas and the ISU faculty; as the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote recently, this was due at least in part to Valias’ perceived treatment of dissidents in ISU’s academic ranks, including the firing of tenured Professor Habib Sadid, who had frequently made remarks critical of the university.  The Spokesman-Review writes: Board President Richard Westerberg said, “The impasse between […]

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  • Outspoken Professor Faces Dismissal from Idaho State University

    October 29, 2009

    Idaho State University appears to have joined the emerging trend of firing professors who criticize university policies. In August, Habib Sadid, an award-winning engineering professor, was charged with “being personally abusive and disruptive.” Sadid was suspended and barred from campus. According to the Idaho State Journal, ISU President Arthur Vailas placed Sadid on paid leave and will make a final determination about Sadid’s employment. Last week, a 4-1 majority of a faculty appeal board found that there was insufficient evidence to terminate Sadid’s employment. Sadid, who is tenured, can be fired for only professional incompetence, a felony conviction, or moral turpitude. […]

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