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  • Academic Implosion Continues

    Posted by David Foster on March 3rd, 2005 (All posts by )

    The University of North Carolina has been offered a substantial donation to create a new program in Western Cultures. 70 faculty members have signed a petition demanding that the university reject the money and stop talking to the foundation which is offering the donation.

    The stated reason is that the foundation, which is conservatively-oriented, “has made many professors uneasy due to its financial support of organizations often critical of the university.” (Quote from article here.) Critical of the university?…the horror! There are also assertions that the negotiations between the foundation and the university administration are lacking in “transparency,” a charge that the administration denies.

    It’s hard for me to believe that the negative response to this proposal doesn’t have something to do with the general negativity toward western culture which is prevalent in many “progressive” circles.

    (hat tip: Common Sense and Wonder)


    7 Responses to “Academic Implosion Continues”

    1. Steve White Says:

      As a University of Chicago faculty person, may I volunteer our fine institution to take this donation? They could fund the study western culture within the College, or they could just donate directly to my research lab. I can provide account numbers. Please inform.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      Wonder if they take Saudi money for their Middle Eastern studies program?

    3. Chris Says:


      THAT’s different…because everybody knows that western culture is pure evil and the source of every problem in the world today!

    4. David Foster Says:

      I have to modify the Gilbert & Sullivan lyrics a bit:

      The idiot who praises, in enthusiastic tone
      Every culture but the one he’s from
      Each country but his own

      (adapted from The Mikado)

    5. Richard Heddleson Says:

      It would be interesting to know if this idiocy is more concentrated in public rather than private institutions. I seem to recall a similar situation at Yale or Princeton several years ago. But most of what one reads about these days seems to be state schools. Maybe they have a harder time controlling the information flows than the private schools.

    6. Sandy P Says:


      If you have any overflow, my account could accommodate it.

    7. ginny Says:

      This is really ugly in two different ways. One is that they are not likely to be offering to take cuts in salaries, teach more and larger courses. This is a gesture without cost to them, but considerable cost to the taxpayers of the state and to students who might possibly see the goal of education as understanding their heritage. The second way is, of course, that it is prompted by a political vision that diminishes the students right “to know the best that is known and thought in the world, and by in its turn making this known, to create a current of true and fresh ideas.”