One of Cornell University’s top donors has demanded the resignation of the school president over her “toxic” radical agenda.
Jon A. Lindseth has warned he will no longer contribute to the prestigious college if it continues to promote far-left Marxism-rooted diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
Lindseth, who has been one of the school’s largest donors for several decades, blames “shameful” President Martha E. Pollak for Cornell’s “DEI groupthink” and is demanding her resignation.
Lindseth, a Cornell emeritus trustee and presidential counselor, gave the ultimatum in an open letter to Chairman Kraig Kayser and the Board of Trustees.
He urged the University to abandon its “misguided commitment” to DEI, claiming its embrace of such initiatives has yielded “disgrace” rather than “excellence.”
“I am proud to count myself one of several generations of Lindseths who are Cornell alumni and invested donors, but I am alarmed by the diminished quality of education offered lately by my alma mater because of its disastrous involvement with DEI policies that have infiltrated every part of the university,” he wrote.
“I have spent years hearing the stories of Cornell and its leadership, participating as a student, and sponsoring and funding some of the University’s exemplary past work including the Library (which I continue to fund).
“I can no longer make general contributions until the university reformulates its approach to education by replacing DEI groupthink with the original noble intent of Cornell,” he added.
Lindseth contrasted Pollak’s “shameful” response to anti-Semitism and Hamas terrorism with her “strong response” in the wake of career criminal George Floyd’s fatal fentanyl overdose in police custody.
He suggested the discrepancy shows the school is no longer concerned with “discovering and disseminating knowledge” but rather “adhering to DEI groupthink.”
“Today, the instruction Cornell offers is in DEI groupthink applied to every field of study,” Lindseth added.
“The result is a moral decay, some call it ‘rot,’ that falls in line with prevailing ideology and dishonors basic principles of justice and free speech.”
The Cornell alumnus listed several concerns, including an increase in antisemitism and “general intolerance” on campus and the elimination of SATS and grades, which he claimed promoted a system based on equal outcomes rather than proven merit.
Lindseth also said that a new campus “bias reporting system” has helped to foster an “Orwellian environment” among classmates, colleagues, and neighbors.
“Alumni of Cornell have organized to offer support and feedback over the past year, providing policy recommendations and whistleblower accounts of problematic behavior on campus by students, faculty, and administrators alike,” he said.
“The intent has been to see Cornell’s excellence restored by a determined rolling back of DEI and the toxic academic environment it creates.”
Lindseth revealed he had requested calls for Pollack’s resignation be added to the January 26 emergency board meeting.
He also cited recent information provided to alums by the Cornell Free Speech Alliance.
The information included reports that the school is hiring faculty based on race to fulfill DEI requirements.
NEW: @Cornell Board Member (Emeritus), Counselor to the President, Alumnus, and Donor Jon A. Lindseth calls on President Pollack and Provost Kotlikoff to resign and makes a series of recommendations, including the elimination of DEI at the university: pic.twitter.com/d2PWZIQ7Qo
— Steve McGuire (@sfmcguire79) January 23, 2024
He also noted incidents where faculty have been singled out and disciplined for expressing minority opinions on national events and policies.
“With my writing of this letter, an increasing number of Cornell alumni are refusing to continue donating to their alma mater,” Lindseth added.
“Unfortunately, President Pollack and her administration have refused to engage with concerned alumni and their sound policy recommendations to correct Cornell’s course.”
He also included a host of recommendations to the Board of Trustees, including the elimination of DEI staff, a return to Open Inquiry, Academic Freedom, Free Expression and Viewpoint Diversity on campus, and the cancellation of a proposed “Cornell Center for Racial Justice.”
“No alumnus, student, or faculty member should accept Cornell’s being in this shameful position,” Lindseth said.
“We need new leadership to correct these intolerable circumstances and to redeem Cornell’s legacy and honor as soon as possible.”