Melvyn Miller

Change in donor tactics

A possibly short-term opportunity exists for US Jewish donors trying to vector their donations to mitigate, or eliminate, the problems faced by Jewish students and faculty on US college campuses governed by administrations unwilling to control demonstrations and other acts by pro-Palestinian activists.

Although the earlier resignations of the presidents of Penn and Harvard seemed to be victories for Jewish donors, it now appears that the threat by US Representative Elise Stefanik to end federal funding, because of Title VI of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, was far more important in those resignations than the threats by Jewish alumni to withhold donations.

The subsequent explosion in the number and intensity of the related Title VI prohibited activities at many universities suggests that much more effective action is needed to raise the awareness of problematic university administrations of financial risks much greater than the loss of donations by Jewish alumni.

Representative Stefanik is presently threatening the removal of all federal funding for all universities that insufficiently protect their Jewish students, as well as a prohibition of any student debt relief for Hamas supporting student activists.

Although other politicians have made similar statements, Elise presently has an increasing amount of national exposure because she is presently the only viable female candidate for the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination. If she is selected by Donald Trump as his running mate, the significant pressure on problematic college administrations will continue at least until the 2024 election.

Fund-raising capabilities are an important consideration in the selection of a Vice Presidential candidate, so any funds contributed to Elise Stefanik before that selection by Donald Trump will be noted by college administrations and remind them of critical financial risks much greater than the loss of donations by Jewish alumni.

This seems an effective technique even for Jewish Democrats, since the amounts involved to help keep Elise as a viable VP candidate, and thus an important message to problematic university administrators, are almost trivial compared to the immense funds that will be raised by the two presidential candidates.

About the Author
Studied and taught engineering at UPenn. PI, manager and/or owner of more than 20 technology companies. Grantor of multi generational investment and philanthropic trusts. At 85, still a member of three shuls and the Technion IBOG.
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