Brody Gasper and Sydney Freeman Jr.


The University of Idaho, founded in 1889, has had its fair share of history and relevance in the state of Idaho. The University of Idaho has championed itself as one of the best and most affordable colleges in the United States, ranking 28th in Best Value and 179th in Best National Universities.1 These achievements highlight a perceived attitude that individuals closely associated with the University (from its founding) wish to see it become one of the highest-ranked schools in the United States. However, it is clear that the University of Idaho is not one of the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse institutions. As of the writing of this document (2023), the following statistics provide a demographic of the state of the University of Idaho.

The University of Idaho is ranked 2,657 out of 3,790 out of all universities in the United States (or a diversity score of 29.90/100), with just 16% of the school’s total population being comprised of ethnic minorities as well as having an overall low Black faculty ethnic diversity.2 Looking closer at the University’s population, a majority of students of color identify as Hispanic or Latino (~10%), International (~6%), Two or More Races (~3%), Asian (~2%), Native American/Native Alaskan (~1%), and Black/African American (~1.2%).3 These numbers highlight a predominantly White university, making it understandable to assume that the University is one where students of color have not had a significant presence.

However, these assumptions are far from the truth for the University of Idaho, which has had a significant history with its students of color and faculty members, especially those of the Black or African-American community. As a note for the reader, when dealing with the terms Black and African-American, Black will denote all collective history of African-Americans and Africans at universities, while African-American will denote history in relation to those who are descendants of slaves.



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Introduction Copyright © 2024 by Brody Gasper and Sydney Freeman Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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