Idaho State University

Location: Pocatello, Idaho
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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Yellow Light Policies
Green Light Policies
  • EEO/Affirmative Action FAQs 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    What is considered Sexual Harassment?

    If a reasonable person would find the conduct sever[e]ly hostile or pervasive, and the conduct otherwise meets legal standards, examples might include:

    * Verbal sexual innuendoes, sometimes in the guise of humor.
    * Subtle pressure for sexual activity.
    * Remarks about a person’s body, clothing or sexual activities.
    * Unnecessary or unwelcome touching, staring, phone calls or letters.
    * A demand for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning one’s class grade, assistantship, recommendation letter, job or promotion.

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  • Acceptable Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    In addition to the above conduct that is required, the following conduct is not acceptable: … Using computers or networks to post or transmit libelous, harassing, or threatening messages to others.

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  • Student Code of Conduct: Rules and Regulations 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual Harassment is: unwelcome, sexual-based verbal and physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program and/or activities. This effect can be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, retaliation, or other similar factors.

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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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