Reports Bloomberg in Schools Find Ayn Rand Can’t Be Shrugged as Donors Build Courses on John Allison, former chairman of bank holding company BB&T Corp’s strategy to spread Ayn Rand’s laissez-faire principles on U.S. campuses:
Allison, working through the BB&T Charitable Foundation, gives schools grants of as much as $2 million if they agree to create a course on capitalism and make Rand’s masterwork, “Atlas Shrugged,” required reading.
Allison’s crusade to counter what he considers the anti- capitalist orthodoxy at universities has produced results — and controversy. Some 60 schools, including at least four campuses of the University of North Carolina, began teaching Rand’s book after getting the foundation money. Faculty at several schools that have accepted Allison’s terms are protesting, saying donors shouldn’t have the power to set the curriculum to pursue their political agendas, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its June issue.
So donors should give their money “with no strings attached” to causes that support some professor’s own political agenda that the donor opposes?
“We have sought out professors who wanted to teach these ideas,” says Allison, now a professor at Wake Forest University’s business school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “It’s really a battle of ideas. If the ideas that made America great aren’t heard, then their influence will be destroyed.”
What about the possibility of giving money to professors who share your agenda?
Allison, who promotes Ayn Rand’s writings, will likely
generate more conflicts on campuses as he seeks to expand his
foundation’s gifts to 200 schools nationwide. […] As private donors gain more power on campuses, it’s just
the kind of shift away from state control that Rand would
That some anti-reason, anti-capitalist professors despise Ayn Rand and have banned her from their curriculum (whether out of malice or in many cases pure ignorance) only reveals their academic bias. Ayn Rand’s ideas are part of the conversation over the battle of ideas.
Thanks to John Allison students who are interested will now be able to study Rand in an academic setting and come to their own conclusions.