Sunday, January 31, 2016

An Oxford College Stands Against Political Harassment

How can we stop the long march of political correctness on college campuses? How can we put an end to the nonsense about trigger warnings and microaggressions? How can we shut down the policing of thought and speech that now infects so many college campuses? ? How can we overcome the absurdity of college students being told that if they will be downgraded if they use correct English grammar?

What can be done about colleges who spend their time worrying about whether men can use women’s locker rooms? What can be done about college teachers who have no compunction about indoctrinating their students in the ideology of oppression and white privilege? And what can be done about the  advent of administrative proceedings—instigated by the Obama administration—to deprive those accused of sexual assault of due process of law?

Recently, a group of radicals at Oriel College in Oxford University decided that a statue of Cecil Rhodes, a man whose money had funded the college, had to be taken down. The movement was called Rhodes Must Fall. You see, Rhodes was a racist, and therefore his statuesque presence was preventing black students from realizing their full potential.

Well, the college just decided to reject the demands of the disaffected students, a decision that ought to shame a certain number of American college presidents, beginning with Peter Salovey at Yale. You recall that Salovey could do no better than to cave in to radical student demands.

By way of contrast, the chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Chris Patten told the protesters that if they did not like the statue they should go get their educations elsewhere.

Why did those who run Oriel College at Oxford decide to keep the statue? Why did they decide to cease their consultations with the Rhodes Must Fall group?

The answer is: college alumni began to withdraw their financial donations. The college depends on these donations to balance its books. How about that? With money goes power. For all the spirited debate that takes place in the marketplace of ideas, what really matters in venerable Oxford University is alumni donations. Call it the power of the purse.

Many years ago Irving Kristol suggested that the people who have the power to tamp down on political correctness and other forms of leftist radicalism are the alumni who shower these places with money. And, let’s not forget the state legislatures who fund many of the state run institutions.

Since an alumni donation is freely given, it can be freely withdrawn. It’s very easy to change one’s will to write out one’s favorite college.

You might call it a return to rationality, but you might better follow Glenn Reynolds and say that it’s a return to “adult supervision.”

In any event, the Daily Telegraph reported on the price Oriel College paid for even considering removing the Rhodes statue:

The governing body of Oriel College, which owns the statue, has ruled out its removal after being warned that £1.5m worth of donations have already been cancelled, and that it faces dire financial consequences if it bows to the Rhodes Must Fall student campaign.

A leaked copy of a report prepared for the governors and seen by this newspaper discloses that wealthy alumni angered by the “shame and embarrassment” brought on the 690-year-old college by its own actions have now written it out of their wills.

The college now fears a proposed £100m gift - to be left in the will of one donor - is now in jeopardy following the row.

The donors were astonished by a proposal to remove a plaque marking where Rhodes lived, and to launch a six-month consultation over whether the statue of the college’s biggest benefactor should be taken down.

But Oriel College confirmed in a statement to the Telegraph: “Following careful consideration, the College’s governing body has decided that the statue should remain in place.”

And also,

At a meeting on Wednesday the governing body was told that because of its ambiguous position on the removal of the statue, “at least one major donation of £500,000” that was expected this year has been cancelled.

In addition, a “potential £750,000 donor” has stopped responding to messages from the college, and several alumni have written to Oriel to say “they are disinheriting the college from their wills”.


One of those who has already cancelled their legacy was going to leave a “seven figure sum” and the college is aware that “another major donor is furious with the College… whose legacy could be in excess of £100m”.

The report warns that there will now "almost certainly" be "one or two redundancies" in its Development Office team because of the collapse in donations. And it has cancelled an annual fundraising drive that should have taken place in April. The report also warns that Oriel's development office could now make an operating loss of around £200,000 this year.

So, if you want to assign blame for the lunacy that is currently infecting so many of America’s best college campuses, don’t forget to point a finger at the alumni whose generous donations are funding it. The power lies with the purse.


Dennis said...

Man has a long history in which various civilizations rise and fall throughout. It has become an interesting question as to why these civilization fall and what are the conditions that lead to their demise as an independent culture? The more I note the changes and outright rejection of almost everything that makes us an independent culture the more I wonder about whether we have now set the standards of our own destruction. A country without its legends, mores and culture is one that is doomed unless it begins to recognize the importance of the very things that make it a culture.
What one sees is a constant drum beat to separate us into various factions committing internecine warfare agains't each other. Somewhere in there we have forgotten that we are citizens of the United States of America, not enemies to be destroyed. It does not help that our educational system seems more interested in indoctrination vice education. One might even wonder if the reason Obama and his followers desire everyone to go to college/universities not for the education, but for the 4 years of indoctrination following the 12 prior years of indoctrination. The fact is that academe has become the prime movement in the destruction of this culture. The question is if everyone has a college degree does that not lessen the value of that degree so we are, in many ways, creating a system that makes an ever growing numbers of people who will become dependent upon government because they cannot find a job outside the government. In fact the only job available is one in the government stamping degrees earned with a government approved stamp.
I have stated before that every issue is part of the same issue. If we do not start to pay real attention we will be doomed by those who would destroy us. It is good to see, at least, some parts of academe fight back. Alan Bloom, Spengler, et al have all been trying to get us to heed their warnings so it is not that the information is not available. For your edification:

Ares Olympus said...
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Ares Olympus said...
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Ares Olympus said...

It's certainly sad that private colleges are so dependent upon a few big donors who want to apply politically correct strings for their "good deeds".

I've seen at least one close up spat of a large donor to a nonprofit, and he wanted to take back his money when his wish to be on the board was rejected, and he got the money back, despite it being over half of their funding that year. But I think it also triggered a new fundraising campaign that shamed the large donor, so they got back at least a fraction of that one donor.

Perhaps Oxford University can also use this as proof of their integrity, and they'll raise back some of it as well from a wider stream of smaller donors? If so it would be a good outcome.

Its also interesting to consider "racist" Cecil Rhodes is the origin of the Rhodes scholarship.
The Rhodes Scholarships are administered and awarded by the Rhodes Trust, which was established in 1902 under the terms and conditions of the will of Cecil John Rhodes, and funded by his estate under the administration of Nathan Rothschild. Scholarships have been awarded to applicants annually since 1902 on the basis of academic achievement and strength of character.

That sounds pretty good, yet it might be a cover for evil, so perhaps individual students will turn down this scholarship in the future, now that we know Rhodes was a racist. At least that form of protest only harms the individual who wants to reject it.

Myself, I'm with Oxford, refusing to wipe history clean seems like a good stand. Perhaps we can compare to older still Christopher Columbus was a poor role model, so if there are any statues of him, I'm open to appending a "minority report" to compliment his historic whitewashing, "fair and balanced" as some say.

Maybe something like that can help Oxford get back their cash?

priss rules said...

Shut down ALL colleges.

They are elitist by nature.