Saturday, February 12, 2022
New York Times, Yale to Evaluate Policies on Donor Gifts and Influence:
Four months after reports that the head of one its most prestigious programs had abruptly resigned, Yale University is forming a committee to review its gift policies to ensure that academic freedom would be safeguarded from undue donor influence.
The committee, whose creation was first reported by The Yale Daily News, will consist of faculty members and administrative staff selected by Yale’s president, Peter Salovey. A university spokeswoman, Karen Peart, said that Salovey “will provide more details when he announces the committee, which will be soon.”
Concerns about inappropriate donor influence at Yale rose after The New York Times reported in September that Beverly Gage, a professor of history, had quietly resigned as head of the Grand Strategy program after the administration in her view had failed to defend against interference in the curriculum by two of the university’s most prominent and deep-pocketed donors. One of those donors had given Yale $500 million — the largest gift in its history. ...
After the Times article appeared, Salovey issued a letter to the Yale community saying he was sorry that Gage had experienced “more unsolicited input from donors than faculty members should reasonably be expected to accept.” Salovey, who the following day was set to preside over a launch event for Yale’s new $7 billion capital campaign, also affirmed Yale’s “unwavering commitment to academic freedom.”
In October, Yale’s faculty senate issued a resolution calling for a committee that would both “survey existing donor agreements” and also recommend new policies that would protect academic freedom. While details of the committee’s access and power are yet to be specified, Salovey told The Yale Daily News that it would not oversee individual donations to the school.
Daily Pennsylvanian, Yale University Creates Committee to Investigate Donation Policy