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Alumni Are Starting to Withhold Donations to Colleges That Don’t Support Free Speech

Alumni Are Starting to Withhold Donations to Colleges That Don’t Support Free Speech

“This is a battle for our culture and, in many ways, for Western civilization”

We recently noted something like this happening at St. Joseph’s University and now it’s happening at other schools. This is fantastic news. Alums hold a lot of power here. Schools depend on them for cash.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Alumni Withhold Donations, Demand Colleges Enforce Free Speech

Two years ago Cornell University asked a California real-estate developer and longtime donor for a seven-figure contribution.

Carl Neuss didn’t write the check immediately, saying he was worried about what he saw as liberal indoctrination on campus and declining tolerance toward competing viewpoints.

To allay Mr. Neuss’s concerns, the development office introduced him to some politically moderate professors, he said. The attempt backfired. The professors, he said, told him they felt humiliated by the diversity training they were required to attend and perpetually afraid they would say something factual—but impolitic.

“If you say the wrong words, you could lose your position or be shunned,” said Mr. Neuss.

Joel Malina, Cornell’s vice president for university relations, said “robust debate and a discussion of all views remain hallmarks of the Cornell experience both in and out of the classroom.”

Mr. Neuss, who graduated from Cornell in 1976, withheld his donation and then helped start the Cornell Free Speech Alliance. It is one of about 20 such dissident alumni organizations that have taken root on college campuses over the last couple of years—including several this fall…

“This is a battle for our culture and, in many ways, for Western civilization,” said John Craig, who heads a similar organization at Davidson College in North Carolina called Davidsonians for Freedom of Thought and Discourse. “Open and free expression is what makes our country great, and if we lose this, our country is in deep trouble.”


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I am currently preparing a letter to my former alma mater explaining why I will no longer be donating, and will remove the university from my will. They have begun requiring “Diversity” indoctrination of both students and faculty, and have instituted Bias Incident Reports to encourage students to inform on each other and their teachers. They have also earned a Red Light rating on FIRE.
My letter will explain to them that they are no longer the university that I attended. Get woke, go broke!

I stopped donating years ago and haven’t regretted it since.

Oberlin just sent out an email saying that they are conducting a survey to get input from alumni. And who says that I have nothing to live for. 😉

    Morning Sunshine in reply to MajorWood. | December 1, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    oh, that could be fun…. I hope you enjoy it – and their response!

      Unfortunately, Oberlin’s endowment has gone up enough with the strong market – and they claim great recent enrollment numbers – that the survey likely means very little. The stock market has probably bailed out a lot of other “woke” institutions as well, for the time being at least.

I stopped giving to the University of Illinois because of their indoctrination of students. I did this over a year ago. I am a life-long member of the alumni association, but it does not matter. When they come back to the way they were in the 60s I will consider donating again.

    I advised the University of Illinois I’m not giving them a nickel. They violate free speech, and the last straw was all of the race based classes they started offering at the law school, not to mention the draconian student conduct system.

The Friendly Grizzly | December 1, 2021 at 9:50 pm

I will turn on my typical left-wing student mode. Here goes… Buy them with holding donations, they are trying to dictate speech and what can be said on campus! I’m going to throw a tantrum!

Steven Brizel | December 2, 2021 at 8:09 am

When any entity goes woke let it go broke

I am a two-time Washington and Lee University alum (undergrad and law school) and resigned as Class Agent for my law class over the summer because of the drift towards intolerance by the University in general and the law school in particular. CRT has become embedded in Lewis Hall with the interim dean describing the latest practicum clinic for law students as having “critical race theory at its foundation . . . ”

My modest contributions have been re-directed to the local Catholic church.

3 Ivy League degrees from three different schools. here I have not donated in 25+ years to any campaign for those reasons now blatantly apparent (exception directly to the CS and engineering departments a couple of times to honor my teachers).
Read my account 1992 Brown U even before classes started

“Alumni Are Starting to Withhold Donations…” We are not “starting”. We’ve just begun to talk to one another, learning that, for various and sundry, the colleges from which we graduated are no longer teaching the values we learned