“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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