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Yale evaluates gift policies and donor influence

Four months after it was reported that the head of one of its most prestigious programs had abruptly resigned, Yale University is forming a committee to review its gift policies to ensure that rights Academic freedom shall be protected from undue influence of donors.

Committee, whose establishment is first report of The Yale Daily News, will include faculty and administrative staff selected by Yale’s president, Peter Salovey. University spokeswoman Karen Peart said that Salovey “will provide more details as he informs the committee, which should happen soon.”

Concerns about influence of inappropriate donors at Yale increased after New York Times reported in September that Beverly Gage, a history professor, quietly resigned as head of the Grand Strategy program after the administration in her view failed to defend against interference in the two’s curriculum. among the university’s most famous and far-reaching donors. One of those donors gave Yale $500 million — the largest gift in its history.

Gage, a scholar of 20th-century American political history who has led the program since 2017, said in November 2020, after a colleague on the program published an article in The Times. criticizing President Donald Trump as a Democrat threatening the Constitution, she received the first of what has become a string of questions and concerns about the program from donors.

Last March, after the administration informed Gage that a new advisory board it would form under previously omitted laws would be dominated by conservatives chosen by donors. , including former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, she resigned.

News of her resignation in September sparked an outcry among faculty members at Yale and elsewhere, who said the administration had failed to protect academic freedom.

After the Times article appeared, Salovey issued letter to the Yale community and said he regrets that Gage has experienced “more unsolicited input from funders than faculty members should reasonably be expected to accept.” .” Salovey, who was scheduled the next day to host a launch event for Yale’s new $7 billion fundraising campaign, also affirmed Yale’s “unwavering commitment to academic freedom.”

In October, a senator from Yale issue a resolution called for a committee to both “survey existing funding arrangements” and also recommend new policies that protect academic freedom. Although details of the committee’s access and powers have yet to be determined, Salovey told The Yale Daily News that it will not oversee individual donations to the school.

The committee will be responsible for reviewing the current gift acceptance and review policy, recommending any beneficial amendments and recommending how best to ensure that faculty can easily communicate concerns to the board. director of gifts or potential giveaways,” he said.

Valerie Horsley, an associate professor at Yale Medical School and chair of the faculty committee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in an email, Gage, who was not involved in the department’s settlement, offered praise for the committee.

“The commission’s initiative looks very promising,” she said, “though of course its effectiveness will depend in part on the committee’s membership and leadership, as well as the extent of its reach. them with university gift agreements and internal processes.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/arts/yale-donor-grand-strategy.html Yale evaluates gift policies and donor influence

Fry Electronics Team

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