After Congressional Hearing Huge Donor Pulls big Money From College

0
1204

In a significant development, Ross Stevens, the founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management and a prominent benefactor of the University of Pennsylvania, has decided to retract a substantial donation initially given to the institution. The withdrawn donation initially pledged in 2017, comprises partnership units in Stone Ridge Asset Management, now valued at an estimated $100 million. This funding was earmarked to assist in establishing a financial innovation center at the university.

The decision to retract the donation stems from concerns regarding the university’s handling of antisemitism on its campus, particularly in light of recent events involving the university’s president. A letter from Stevens’ attorneys to the university outlined the reasons for this withdrawal, citing a breach of the limited partnership agreement between Stone Ridge and the university. Specifically, the letter accused the university of failing to comply with anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, as reported by Axios.

The content of the letter explicitly expressed Stevens’ and Stone Ridge’s dismay over the university’s perceived laxity in addressing antisemitism on campus. It criticized the university’s alleged tolerance of hate speech advocating violence against Jewish individuals and its seemingly indifferent approach to harassment and discrimination against Jewish students. This stance, according to the letter, contravenes policies that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on religion, including those upheld by Stone Ridge.

A particular point of contention highlighted in the letter was the testimony of the university’s president, Liz Magill, before the House Education and Workforce Committee. In her testimony, President Magill suggested that the prohibition of antisemitic chants and calls for the genocide of Jewish people on campus is dependent on the context. She indicated that such speech would breach the university’s policies against bullying and harassment only if it was direct, pervasive, and severe. This statement, as per the letter from Stevens and Stone Ridge, implied that such rhetoric would indeed violate the university’s harassment and discrimination policies.

Following the backlash, President Magill issued a clarification via social media and a subsequent video message. In these communications, she acknowledged that calls for the genocide of Jewish people are threatening and deeply concerning. However, following her comments the board of trustees met and they want her gone.

As of the writing of this post, she has not resigned; however, it is a developing situation.