Philanthropists | Philanthropy

Responding to higher-education misbehavior

WASHINGTON TIMES   |  February 23, 2007 by Steve Balog

As a concerned observer of higher education, I commend Asaf Romirowsky for pointing out that the double standards, censorship and other politically correct follies that abound in present-day academia will not end until donors begin to “ask questions about what is being done with their money” (“Scholar activism,” Op-Ed, Feb. 14). Readers also might like to know that the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a Washington-based bipartisan organization dedicated to academic freedom and standards, has come up with a way to serve notice on misbehaving universities.

ACTA supporters like me are making donations to ACTA to support its higher-education reform efforts in the name of certain universities. How’s that for turning the tables?

As the Yale alum who made the lead gift for this effort put it, “The contributions will register displeasure with, not honor, the university named. The contributor can thereby make it clear that his displeasure cost the university the contribution.” Meanwhile, ACTA will use the funds to promote reforms that are urgently needed. ACTA also will send letters to the offending universities informing them of their lost revenues and encouraging them to change their ways.

I encourage those who share Mr. Romirowsky’s concerns over the present state of affairs at their alma maters to join me in making an “in the name of” gift to ACTA, which can be contacted at


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.

Discover More