Yale University is among the handful of elite universities that have long allowed alumni to nominate board of trustees candidates by petition. With more and more alumni distressed by the descent of Yale into wokism, there has been rising support for insurgent alumni petition candidates over the last few years. We reported in 2018 on the petition candidacy of Jamie Kirchick, which fell short of qualifying for a vote-in, and another attempt by Nicholas Rosencranz in 2019 to do the same. Lately we reported on the petition candidacy of Victor Ashe, whose petition drive succeeded in getting him on the ballot as an alumni candidate.
All three of these insurgent candidates want to disrupt the cozy world of the go-along Yale trustees who sign off on the madness of Yale’s president Peter Salovey.
The voting closed just a few days ago, and Yale has not announced the results yet. But in typical fashion now when the liberal establishment is challenged, Yale has decided to change the rules to eliminate alumni petition candidacies for the board. So the announcement from Yale’s “senior alumni trustee” (no doubt speaking for the administration) yesterday comes as no surprise:
Dear Fellow Alumni,
I write on behalf of the Yale Board of Trustees to inform you of a change to the process for electing Alumni Fellows to the Board.
After careful consideration over the last few years, the Board of Trustees has determined that the petition process to become a candidate in the Alumni Fellow election no longer serves the best interests of the university, and it has voted to amend the university’s Miscellaneous Regulations to remove this path to candidacy, effective immediately. [Emphasis added.]
The boldface part should be translated: “No longer serves the interests of the incumbent power structure at Yale.”
The rest of the announcement contains a lot of mumbo-jumbo about how recent alumni petition candidacies have been “special interest” candidates seeking to advance “specific platforms.” Thought experiment: if the petition candidates were black Yale alums demanding more “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” would Yale’s trustees dare say anything like this?
I especially like this passage:
It has been our experience as trustees that it is the absence of any prior commitment to specific agendas that allows wide-ranging, intense, and even contentious conversations, all in service of coming to good decisions for Yale. We are a diverse group of individuals, with strong points of view, unified by a shared sense of purpose.
Yeah—I’m sure their ideological diversity runs all the way from A to B. And their “shared sense of purpose” is, don’t rock to boat.
I’m with Tom Cotton. Let’s start applying a hefty wealth tax to Yale’s endowment, and direct the funds to low income students at state schools. How could a liberal object to that?