A generous gift from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation will allow the American Council of Trustees and Alumni to identify and bring remediation to institutions where students and faculty experience a stifling campus climate.

The Foundation has awarded $3 million to ACTA, plus a $1 million challenge grant, to address the free speech crisis afflicting our nation’s colleges and universities through intervention when schools restrict free speech and dissemination of best practice models that provide faculty, higher education leaders, and students with strategies and solutions to ensure campus intellectual diversity. We will also use this funding to leverage key stakeholders to drive positive change through our Donor Revolution initiative.

The assault on reasoned debate and the pursuit of truth at America’s colleges and universities has grown in intensity and, all too often, outright viciousness. We are seeing the erosion of intellectual diversity in the classroom and on campus, accompanied by severe limitations on student and faculty expression. The norms of academic freedom that protect the unfettered pursuit of truth in research and teaching are deteriorating at an alarming rate. We are also witnessing the development of diversity initiatives that have the practical effect of defining favored viewpoints and severely punishing those who dissent. The fate of the academy as we know it is at stake.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation for its generosity and vision,” said ACTA President Michael Poliakoff. “Since 1999, the foundation has been a key supporter of ACTA’s work, including a five-year $5 million grant in 2015 to reinvigorate our Fund for Academic Renewal.

“This transformative gift is a huge momentum builder for 2022. It will allow us to expand our staff and add several essential initiatives to our growing portfolio of programs focused on campus free speech, curricular reform, and reining in the cost of a college education. These are the initiatives through which ACTA works to bring a desperately needed course correction to higher education.”

Media Contact: Gabrielle Anglin
Phone: (260) 609-3486


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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