The Company You Keep

Note: This is a version of a previous post that has been updated with additional commentary.

It is increasingly clear to me that our institutions of higher learning are addicted to money, and they are more desperate for it than they are concerned about raising capital from those whose values don’t align. For example, MIT took funds from dubious Saudi Arabian donors despite persistent opposition from within the institution. “MIT’s continued collaboration with the Saudi government sends the message that human rights violations can be overlooked in favor of financial considerations,” a group of students wrote in a letter to the university.

Of course, it would be unfair to focus only on one school. Tufts University, for instance, has had a hand-in-pocket relationship with the Sacklers, the family behind Purdue Pharma, the largest opioids maker. And it’s not just universities — whether it is museums, hospitals, or tech startups: many organizations are happy to overlook the provenance of the money that supports them. Continue reading “The Company You Keep”