Jon Lindseth, one of Cornell University’s most significant donors, is cutting ties with the prestigious institution, citing concerns about its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Lindseth, a trustee emeritus and major benefactor, called on Cornell’s president, Martha Pollack, to resign, saying the university’s dedication to DEI has led to a “toxic academic environment” that jeopardizes its Ivy League status, the Washington Examiner reported.
Lindseth expressed his discontent in a letter addressed to the Cornell Board of Trustees, writing: “It is my opinion that Cornell must abandon its misguided commitment to DEI because it has yielded not excellence but disgrace.”
He further expressed his disappointment with the diminished quality of education resulting from the university’s entanglement with DEI policies.
Lindseth said Pollack’s response to incidents of terrorism and antisemitism on campus has been inadequate. Lindseth drew a dichotomy between her handling of campus antisemitism and the swift response to the death of George Floyd, attributing it to “adhering to DEI groupthink policies and racialization.”
Lindseth also called for the resignation of Provost Michael Kotlikoff.
Lindseth’s demands include the removal of all DEI staff and programs, adopting Cornell Free Speech Alliance policies, conforming to the Supreme Court decision to end affirmative action, and canceling plans for the “Cornell Center for Racial Justice,” the Daily Caller reported.
Lindseth also raised concerns about Pollack’s leadership, citing issues such as the response to Hamas terrorist attacks on Israelis, anti-free speech bias response systems fostering a “hostile Orwellian environment,” the elimination of grades impacting merit, and the school’s bias reporting system.
In a call for urgency, Lindseth demanded that his concerns be added to the agenda for the Board’s emergency meeting on Friday. He criticized the administration’s failure to address these issues, labeling it as a symptom of the “moral rot” infiltrating Ivy League universities.
Lindseth said Cornell’s embrace of DEI has led to an “oppressive monoculture, inappropriate political activism,” and a climate of fear and intimidation on campus.
“The damage we have seen inflicted upon Cornell’s reputation and academic standing by the current administration grieves me,” Lindseth said. “It necessitates a truly comprehensive shift in leadership and priorities to put Cornell back on the path towards academic excellence.”
Jim Thomas | email@example.com
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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