Key Cornell Donor Revokes Funding Due to ‘Toxic’ DEI Atmosphere

( – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and policies have come under increased scrutiny in recent months, but not without a fight. Republicans and activists across the country have spent years demanding an end to DEI and a return to considering merits over skin color. Many corporations, state governments, colleges, universities, as well as the federal government seemingly adopted DEI overnight in 2020 following the death of George Floyd. Companies forced employees to participate in training that focused on alleged white inherent bias and labeled white people as oppressors. Non-white people were labeled as oppressed, which many believed to be a racist notion.

Billionaire Elon Musk has engaged in several debates on X, formerly Twitter, about DEI initiatives. One notable argument was with fellow billionaire Mark Cuban, who has adopted DEI policies as the CEO of the Mavericks NBA team. Musk’s focus on the details of DEI on X will likely contribute to its eventual destruction, but others have certainly engaged in work behind the scenes on the local level.

One such person is Jon Lindseth, who is an alumnus of Cornell University and a major donor. On January 23, he penned a letter to Cornell Board of Trustees chairman Kraig Kayser, calling on the university to end its DEI policies “because it has yielded not excellence but disgrace.” Lindseth wrote that he was concerned about the quality of education that Cornell had to offer since adopting DEI university-wide.

Lindseth offered a fierce summarization of Cornell President Martha Pollack’s DEI-based decisions. He contrasted Pollack’s response to the killing of George Floyd with her response following the Hamas terrorist attack against Israel. He called for her resignation and wrote that he would discontinue donations to the university until it completely rid itself of DEI. On January 26, Kayser released a statement in support of President Pollack. He acknowledged that challenges existed and noted that the board was working with the university’s administration to determine appropriate responses.

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