“state schools should represent (or at least not insult) the state’s taxpayers, who foot the bill”
This is an excellent question.
Mark Pulliam asks at his blog, Misrule of Law:
Trouble in Paradise? (Part 8)
Or, Why Do Red States Like Tennessee Allow Radicals to Hijack Their Taxpayer-Funded Universities?*
A recently-arrived Volunteer warns his fellow Tennesseans about the scourge of wokeness in higher education.
I am not a native Tennessean, but I attended UT. The other UT—the University of Texas at Austin–with the other shade of orange. I lived in Austin for 10 years, during law school and for a period after I retired from practicing law, and one of my children graduated from that other UT, so I am pretty familiar with the goings-on at what the Burnt Orange crowd calls the Forty Acres, home of the Longhorns. It’s a microcosm of what is happening at “elite” universities all around the country: identity politics, critical race theory, “social justice,” intersectionality, the LGBTQ agenda, and all the rest of the leftist indoctrination masquerading as higher education.
The administration and most of the faculty at the other UT are completely out of step with the voters and taxpayers in Texas who pay their often-exorbitant salaries. So long as they comply with state and federal law, private colleges can do whatever they want—subject to finding parents willing to pay the tuition or students willing to borrow money to pay it—but state schools should represent (or at least not insult) the state’s taxpayers, who foot the bill.
I wrote many articles about hijinks at my alma mater for national publications, and the need for reform, but a few years ago I concluded that a social media campaign directed at alumni of the other UT would be more likely to generate political pushback where it is needed—in the Texas capital. Like most public universities, the other UT is governed by a Board of Regents appointed by the (Republican) Governor, and relies on appropriations from the (Republican-controlled) Legislature. So, I started a Facebook page, “Stop the Insanity at UT,” which now has almost 2,600 followers.
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