Tuesday, September 26, 2023

ASU Megadonor Pulls $400K Donations over Conservative Censorship

'After seeing this level of left-wing hostility and activism, I no longer had any confidence in Barrett to adhere to the terms of our gift...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) A major donor to Arizona State University pulled his large annual endowment after the school’s woke administration fired a professor for hosting an event on campus that featured conservative speakers, Red State reported.

The donor, Tom Lewis, discontinued his $400,000 annual funding of the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development at ASU’s Barrett Honors College following the unceremonious dismissal of the center’s executive director, Ann Atkinson.

“After seeing this level of left-wing hostility and activism, I no longer had any confidence in Barrett to adhere to the terms of our gift, and made the decision to terminate our agreement, effective June 30, 2023,” Lewis wrote in a statement soon after Atkinson was fired.

The event organized by Atkinson featured conservative personalities such as Charlie Kirk and Dennis Prager.

However, the guest list sent Barrett’s leftist professors into a fury, culminating in public calls to stop Kirk and Prager from visiting and the devotion of classroom lecture time aimed at mobilizing undergraduates to disrupt the event.

Lewis, who had been donating to ASU for more than 20 years, said he pulled his funding due to the school’s censorship of all views that are not far-left.

“I regret that this decision was necessary, and hope that Barrett and ASU will take strong action to ensure that free speech will always be protected and that all voices can be heard,” he said.

The incident also sparked an investigation into the school on the part of the GOP-led state Senate, which formed a committee to look into the status of free speech on campus.

In response to her firing, Atkinson penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal documenting the school’s failures to protect free speech.

According to the former professor and ASU alumna, the school as been infected by a “deep hostility toward divergent views.”

She also noted that, despite the institution’s attempts to protect the First Amendment and foster a place of genuine inquiry, “the faculty mob always wins against institutional protections for free speech.”

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