Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Oh, that $2.5 million? 

After 18 months of debate, Harvard is returning a $2.5 million endowment for a chair of Islamic studies that was funded by the president of the United Arab Emirates.  This unelected president, Sheik Zayed, had been reported as making anti-Semitic statements, which led a group of students and faculty in the School of Theology there to petition Harvard to return the gift.  According to the Boston Globe, an email from the dean of the school indicated that
In light of the Zayed Center's having promoted activities in evident conflict with the purposes of the gift, Harvard indicated to representatives of the donor that the University was seriously considering returning the gift funds.
The effort was led by Rachel Fish.  It is amazing that it took this long to get the money finally out of Harvard, but better late than never.  Congratulations to Fish and others for seeing this through.