North Carolinas Pope family, who have already endowed this center, are proposing a long-term series of grants, culminating, perhaps, in a major endowment to support the study of western civilization at UNC-Chapel Hill. The story is here. Seventy-one UNC faculty have signed this letter protesting the "secret" negotiations between the university and the Pope familys foundation.
Youre not going to tell me that faculty members have never confidentially sought foundation support for their own curricular programs. So we can assume that the faculty concerns are political, driven in large part by their fear of some hidden Pope family agenda. My fear would be different--that once the endowment was in place, donor intent would be dishonored by a university, many of whose influential faculty are likely hostile to the traditional study of western civilization. My advice to the Pope family: look before you leap and make certain there are safeguards in place that prevent the perversion of your attempt to energize the study of western civilization in Chapel Hill.