Sunday, April 17, 2005

President Wright and the Ford Foundation

James Wright's letter endorsing a new Ford Foundation program to encourage academic freedom and free speech made headlines last week. Wright has recently been criticized by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Trustee candidates Peter Robinson '79 and Todd Zywicki '88 for restricting free speech at Dartmouth.

Less noticed, however, were the details of the program that Wright endorsed. The Ford Foundation is calling for grant proposals "to address the potentially chilling effect of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq war, and violence in the Middle East on academic dialogue." This may seem commendable, but in reality the Ford Foundation is one of the largest left-leaning philanthropic foundations in the country, providing large amounts of funding for the defense of racical preference programs.

Looks like yet another instance of free speech for those who agree with liberal academia, but not for dissenters.

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