“It’s not enough anymore to just say, ‘trust us,'”
The campus protests at Mizzou may have been a tipping point. It tool campus leaders long enough to figure it out.
University presidents: We’ve been blindsided
University presidents say they have been blindsided by charges that they are catering to the wealthy at the same moment that conservatives attack them for elitism, turning their once-untouchable institutions into political punching bags.
POLITICO talked to more than a dozen college and university presidents, from small colleges to Ivy League universities and top public institutions, who expressed fear that they’re losing public and political support at an alarming rate.
The GOP’s tax plan is the clearest and most recent example of that backlash – and college presidents say it was a wake-up call. While the colleges successfully fended off some aspects of the plan they detested the most, the sweeping changes to the tax code would still target universities in a way they’ve never been targeted before, taxing the richest private schools’ endowments.
Chastened, university presidents acknowledge they bear some responsibility.
“It’s not enough anymore to just say, ‘trust us,'” Yale President Peter Salovey said. “There is an attempt to build a narrative of colleges and universities as out of touch and not politically diverse, and I think … we have a responsibility to counter that — both in actions and in how we present ourselves.”
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