Saturday, September 01, 2007

Are Alums Just For Money?

At Scott Mirengoff posts concerning a Dartmouth alum who wanted to give his Alma Mater more than just money:

In 2004 Cypress Semiconductor chief executive officer T.J. Rodgers waged a successful insurgent campaign -- the first in 24 years -- for election to the Dartmouth board against three candidates selected by the alumni council nominating committee.

Rodgers leans libertarian and shuns characterization on the left-right divide; he says he was motivated to run by "the degradation of freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly . . . at [Dartmouth] today."
It turned out there are other Dartmouth alums who want to give the school more than money. Some followed Rodgers's example and ran as insurgent board candidates while tens of thousands of others supported them:
Rodgers's election to the Dartmouth board has been followed by the election of petition trustees Peter Robinson, Todd Zywicki, and Stephen Smith as well as the resounding rejection of the proposed new alumni constitution that would have changed election procedures.

The powers-that-be at Dartmouth are not pleased with the outcome of these elections and apparently mean to do something about it the old-fashioned way.

In today's Wall Street Journal, Joseph Rago interviews Rodgers regarding his experience on the board. Rodgers anticipates an unhappy outcome to the governance committee review of election procedures that will be presented to the board next month.
The rest of Mirengoff's post is here. It includes links to the WSJ article and one Mirengoff wrote for Weekly Standard.

Colleges and universities open wide the doors of their development offices to welcome all who wish to contribute by cash, check or money order. Credit cards, too.

But go over to the administration building and tell them you’d like to give some time checking out what the trustees have been doing and …. (you know the rest of it).

Question: Why do so many intelligent, accomplished people give so generously – sometimes even the bulk of their estates – to colleges and universities which aren’t really accountable to them; and don’t wish to be?


Anonymous said...

I would guess that the donors believe that regardless of how liberal or PC their alma mater is, the money can be spent much better than their own sibligs can spend it. A rediculous reason but one that leaves a personal legacy of being a good donor to their school and maybe some name recognition on a parking space or building room. Kin would just spend the money with no gloating about who gave it to them and why. Oh buildings named after them either.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Princeton in some hot water for misusing the monies around their Woodrow Wilson school?


Anonymous said...

AC, yes:

Found this at Free Republic:

Some snips:
Times have changed since 1961, when Charles and Marie Robertson, heirs to the A&P grocery store fortune, donated $35 million in company stock to Princeton University...the Robertsons targeted their gift to the graduate program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, one of the nation's premier centers for the study of politics and policy...
Their largesse, everyone agrees, made the school what it is today...
Now, the Robertsons - more precisely, Charles and Marie Robertsons' heirs - want their money back. All $500 million of it...
Their complaint: The Wilson School has not fulfilled the couple's vision of a school that trains graduate students to work in the federal government, particularly in international affairs.
More Wilson alumni work in business and finance, they say, than in the U.S. government - even though the Robertson endowment pays almost every graduate student's tuition.

My comment: It's what often happens when you give what is, essentially, a blank check without oversight.