Alumni from major colleges are withdrawing their financial support in an effort to put pressure on university leadership to encourage and protect free speech on campus, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Many alumni are pushing back against teaching they believe violates their own values, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Cornell graduate and California real estate developer, Carl Neuss, hesitated after the university asked him to make a seven-figure donation. Concerned with what he referred to as liberal indoctrination on campus, he began an organization called the Cornell Free Speech Alliance, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Several of these types of organizations have formed on campus. They are mostly driven by politically moderate or conservative alumni. They believe progressives have taken over colleges campuses and are squelching free speech, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Some alumni are pushing back against “intellectual monocultures” at their schools, withholding donations. “This is a battle for our culture and, in many ways, for Western civilization.” https://t.co/BOOgdWtr4s
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 1, 2021
Protecting free speech is cited as one of the main objectives of the alumni organizations.
“Robust debate and a discussion of all views remain hallmarks of the Cornell experience both in and out of the classroom,” Cornell’s vice president for university relations, Joel Malina, told the WSJ.
Founder of the Davidsonians for Freedom of Thought and Discourse, a similar group at Davidson College in North Carolina, John Craig, said that “this is a battle for our culture and, in many ways, for Western civilization.”
Cornell senior, Matthew Samilow says there is tremendous pressure on conservative students. As a republican, he keeps his views to himself for fear of being ostracized, according to the WSJ. After protesting the use of student fees for progressive causes, he was labeled as “racist,” according to the outlet.
Alumni from Washington and Lee University in Virginia initiated an organized response after the school decided to disassociate themselves with school namesakes, President George Washington, who endowed the school, and General Robert E. Lee, a former president of the university due to their ownership of slaves. The alumni group, General’s Redoubt, requested that all donors suspend their gifts until the school reversed course.
Parents objecting to the teaching of Critical Race Theory [CRT] in high schools and middle schools have launched debates all across the country, according to previous reporting.
Frustrated parents in Loudon County sang The Star Spangled Banner at one school board meeting when the board refused to hear their comments, the Daily Caller previously reported.
It is too soon to see if the alumni groups will have impact, according to the WSJ, but some college presidents are already showing concern over the loss of donor revenue.