In the battle for academic freedom, alumni are key players — what happens when they go rogue?

Jessica Wills
Foundation for Individual Rights in Expression

Excerpt: Known to its friends as “freedom’s college,” for many years Grove City College maintained a balance between both its self-proclaimed conservative values and its belief in “the foundations of a free society.” But in the last year, the campus community has become fractured, all because the college featured a controversial speaker, offered an elective class in cultural diversity, and conducted racial sensitivity training for the residence life staff. Alumni and donors were enraged by these actions that they perceived as mission drift.

As a senior at Grove City, I experienced my dream school’s transformation into a shell of the place I remembered visiting in high school, all because of the pressure exerted by outraged alumni. Grove City failed to uphold its written commitment in its student handbook: “Rather than political, ideological, or philosophical agendas, objective truth continues as the goal of liberal learning.”