A helpful reminder

I had a great experience in school, from the very earliest days in elementary school all the way through college.

My high school made me study like I was already in college, and I was better off academically for it.  Since McCallie is a private school, they rely on alumni giving as a source of income, and I pledged to give on a yearly basis when I left as a senior.  Although I haven’t given much at this point, I would happily give more if I came across some extra cash.

I also had a great college experience, although going to Harding was totally different from my prep school.  Also a private school, Harding probably relies even more than McCallie did on alumni donations, yet I haven’t given a dime in the two years since I graduated.  This is not likely to change, for a handful of reasons, not the least of which is that Harding has zero financial transparency.  They should be filing an IRS Form 990 but seemingly choose not to under the “religious entity” exception, preventing any potential donors from seeing where donations might be going.  Lipscomb has nothing to hide, and hopefully neither does Harding.

Of course, when Harding presents Dinesh D’Souza (tonight’s on-campus speaker) as “one of the top young public policy-makers in the country” without mentioning that he wrote a book on the (completely reprehensible and destructive) premise that the left is responsible for 9/11, maybe there is something to hide.

I got a good education at Harding, but the bad taste of the school’s radically conservative politics still hasn’t left me, even though I’ve been gone for over two years now.  You’re not helping your case today, alma mater.  What a freakin’ joke.

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6 thoughts on “A helpful reminder

  1. Haha!

    Remember when a certain friend of ours who shall remain nameless found on that site that a certain middle school teacher who shall remain nameless was the fourth highest paid employee at McCallie in 2001.

    I remember that McCallie blocked the Form 990 site on the server, albeit too late, after all the student body found out about that one.

    I like to think that my annual Sustaining Fund donation goes, you know, to teachers and administrators who actually have Master’s and Doctorate’s that require competitive higher salaries.

  2. I doubt I’d even know what Guidestar.org does if I didn’t have that experience looking up McCallie teacher salaries. At least there was some transparency at McCallie, even if it’s hard to justify what they were paying certain faculty members compared to others (and even if they blocked the website at school).

    And just for clarification, I don’t know how much money Harding pays to get speakers like D’Souza (or if that money even comes out of their equivalent of the Sustaining Fund). I doubt that Harding is wasteful…the politics and lack of transparency are what bother me.

  3. If, hypothetically speaking, Harding made a point of presenting speakers who voice a variety of controversial opinions from all across the political spectrum, one of whom happened to be D’Souza, would you feel differently about this situation? Or do you believe that his 9/11 book just makes him an inappropriate speaker at any serious college or university?

  4. That’s an interesting hypothetical case, because D’Souza would be more palatable as a speaker if his speech were being presented alongside another with an opposing viewpoint. I still think he’s a hack, but at least people would hear the other side’s argument. I don’t think a respectable university should be in the business of consistently advancing just one side of a political debate, which is exactly what Harding does.

    A group from the HU Honors College recently started a dual-perspective speaker format as a response to the more prominent ASI lecture series (which is sponsoring D’Souza), but they don’t have the financial pull to bring in big names, so they are far overshadowed. Inviting D’Souza would be justified in that setting, I think.

  5. If a university wants to encourage open-minded thinking on political and social issues, I guess its lineup of speakers, like a good batting order, needs to avoid having all righties or all lefties, or too many of either in a row.

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