By: Mark Glennon *
A welcome trend is emerging in higher education. Wealthy donors are using their influence to fight the cancellation mobs and awakened radicals that now dominate most colleges and universities. No freedom of expression or thought? So no money for you, they say.
A Wall Street Journal column on Monday described the move, reporting that dissident alumni organizations targeting at least 20 schools have formed in the past two years – including several this fall.
Unfortunately, there was no mention of Illinois schools, and I couldn’t find any groups targeting Illinois schools like Northwestern, DePaul, and the University of Illinois, which were among those. who have too often traded academic freedom for the rule of the crowd.
But the way now seems clear for such groups to form here and everywhere. An umbrella organization for them has now been formed called the Alumni Free Speech Alliance.
Its members already include groups of former donors from Princeton, Cornell, the University of Virginia and others, and he says many more are on the way.
The Alliance shares tools and experiences that allow donors to aggregate their power to turn the situation around. From its website:
The Alliance provides a mechanism for the exchange of information among its members on substantive and organizational matters. A priority for the Alliance is to encourage the creation of free speech alumni groups for other colleges and universities, and the Alliance will create tools to help new alumni groups to grow. to organise.
Withholding money is one of two ways to get the attention of administrators and non-liberal college administrators. States that fund higher education should do the same.
The other way is competition. Here too, we had good news this month with the announcement of a new university in formation. The University of Austin will be dedicated to the fundamental principles upon which higher education is supposed to be built – freedom of opinion and the market of ideas. Classical liberalism, in other words.
This announcement was surely an “oh shit” moment for higher education administrators and bureaucrats who turned their schools over to leftist crowds. They must know that a counter-revolution is brewing.
The stakes are huge. “It’s a battle for our culture and, in many ways, for Western civilization,” John Craig, who heads one of the dissident donor groups, told The Wall Street Journal.
This is no exaggeration.
* Mark Glennon is the founder of Wirepoints.