President David Wippman co-authored an opinion piece published by The Hill on July 13 titled Memo to President Trump: College students are not sponges. Written with Cornell Professor of American Studies Glenn Altschuler, the essay focuses on President Trump’s request to the Treasury Department to  reexamine the tax exempt status of colleges because “too many . . . are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education.” 

In their opinion piece, the authors reply that “there is no valid basis in existing law for revoking schools’ tax-exempt status, and students are far more resistant to political indoctrination than President Trump would like us to believe,” They point to several different proof points throughout the piece, including a 2008 study that found “little evidence . . . that faculty ideology is associated with changes in students’ ideological orientation” and that the “students at colleges with more liberal faculties were not statistically more likely to move to the left than students at other institutions.”

They conclude with a comment about an admonition from a 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure from the American Association of University Professsors. “In our judgment that last admonition — ‘at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, and show respect for the opinion of others’ — is as appropriate for political leaders as it is for teachers and scholars.”


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