Private institutions of higher learning love cash donations, much of which comes from private investors. To fall out of favor with these investors is to risk being cut off.
It’s always been this way, but never more so among Ivy League institutions than today. Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have now set a new example, one few within their circles wish to follow.
They’ve angered conservative donors. A combination of progressive leftist ideology and rampant anti-Semitism on campus finally threw them over the edge, leaving them no other recourse but to talk with their wallets.
Those donors include the billionaire founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, Bill Ackman, who seemed to have numerous axes to grind against the now-former president of his own alma mater, Claudine Gay of Harvard University, who resigned Tuesday.
He’d previously called for the resignations of Gay, now-former University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This followed a Dec. 5 congressional hearing where all three refused to denounce anti-Semitism on the campuses they oversee, claiming it depended on the “context” of the words being spoken.
Ackman wasn’t buying it.
“If a CEO of one of our companies gave a similar answer, he or she would be toast within the hour,” he wrote in a lengthy Dec. 5 social media post.
Ackman’s work isn’t done, although he’s close.
Magill resigned Dec. 9, while fallout from the hearing was still fresh. After Gay followed, only Kornbluth remains.
“Et tu Sally?” Ackman wrote on the social media platform X after news of Gay’s resignation spread.
Et tu Sally?
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) January 2, 2024
Not surprisingly, the liberal Associated Press blamed Gay’s departure on conservative tactics to oust her. The news service deemed plagiarism as the new conservative vehicle in which to change the face of higher education.
The AP’s social media post about Gay stepping down was headlined: “Harvard president’s resignation highlights new conservative weapon against colleges: plagiarism.”
Harvard president’s resignation highlights new conservative weapon against colleges: plagiarism https://t.co/GiVkT3LgUo
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 3, 2024
It’s a big reach with no logical basis, as the AP piece showed. It’s little but a series of opinions dressed up as journalism, and backed up by reliably liberal sources quoted in ways that never really proved the point.
CNN on-air contributor Scott Jennings, who served as an adviser in the George W. Bush White House and is one of the few Republican voices on the liberal network, published a social media post mocking the premise of the piece.
It’s remarkable that conservatives, with all the pouncing and seizing they do, had the time to invent the concept of plagiarism over the last couple of months. https://t.co/dDHHlwJlVR
— Scott Jennings (@ScottJenningsKY) January 3, 2024
Reality speaks, Gay tendered her resignation accusations of plagiarism kept growing. An AP representative told Fox News Digital in an article published Wednesday that the AP report wasn’t up to the news agency’s standards.
It now carries a new headline, the representative said: “Plagiarism charges downed Harvard’s president. A conservative attack helped to fan the outrage.”
But that doesn’t change the article’s attempt to frame the just desserts suffered by Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth rather predictably.
“The campaign against Gay and other Ivy League presidents has become part of a broader right-wing effort to remake higher education, which has often been seen as a bastion of liberalism,” AP claimed. “Republican detractors have sought to gut funding for public universities, roll back tenure and banish initiatives that make colleges more welcoming to students of color, disabled students and the LGBTQ+ community. They also have aimed to limit how race and gender are discussed in classrooms.”
Or maybe Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth simply demonstrated detestable character not suited to lead educational institutions of any caliber but especially those of esteemed standing.
While many students, parents and the establishment media are either hoodwinked are pretend to be for the “prestige” an association with an Ivy League school can bring, experienced investors like Bill Ackman fail to be fooled.
Thankfully, he and others like him hold purse strings that matter at these schools. And they no longer remain content on letting them run amuck.
Money and public pressure will bring change. So that graduates who leave these institutions understand that anti-Semitism is never “contextual.”
It’s always terror.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.