Conservative Figures Announce ‘Austin University Alternative College’

Conservative figures and personalities in the United States announced the founding of the “University of Austin as an alternative to college” last Monday morning on Twitter.

The University of Austin, not to be confused with the University of Texas at Austin, one of the top 50 public universities in the United States, is being established in response to what is colloquially known as “awakening,” the growing phenomenon in the United States. States and much of the western world. The emphasis on issues related to demographic discrimination, such as racism and sexism, has been associated with left-wing politics.

“We are done waiting for America’s universities to fix themselves,” the school’s video release states. “So we are starting a new one.”

The school’s founding trustees include former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss, historian Niall Ferguson, and co-founder of data software company Palantir, Joe Lonsdale. The initial University of Austin Advisory Board includes several notable figures in American political discourse, such as Dutch-Somali author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author and commentator Andrew Sullivan, and former United States Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers.

“So much has been broken in America,” writes former president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and founding trustee of the University of Austin, Panos Kanelos, “but higher education might be the most fractured institution … Almost 70% of the students are in favor of informing the teachers if the teacher says something that the students find offensive. “

Weiss, an avid defender of Israel, was one of the founding members who announced the establishment of the University of Austin. She resigned from the New York Times in 2020 for “giving in to the whims of critics on Twitter” and for what she described as a lack of free speech at the post and among her colleagues.

Bari Weiss (credit: TWITTER)

“Twitter is not at the head of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate publisher, ”Weiss wrote in his resignation letter. “As the ethics and customs of that platform have become those of the role, the role itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. The stories are chosen and told in a way that satisfies the smallest audiences, rather than allowing a curious audience to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions, ”he added.

Weiss is a leading voice for Diaspora Jews in the United States. He has defended Israel and Jewish life in the United States in his columns, public appearances, and personal social media accounts. Her book “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” was published in 2019, the same year that The Jerusalem Post named her the seventh most influential Jew in the world.

“Awakening” has spawned what has been seen as “canceling culture”, where the emphasis on gender and racial sensitive language has led to dissidents being yelled at at conferences, harassed on social media, or even fired from their works. A recent example from former UK philosophy professor Kathleen Stock, who joined the University of Austin Alternative College as a founding faculty member after resigning from the University of Sussex following accusations of transphobia. In October 2021, a group of LGBT + students campaigned for the University of Sussex to remove Stock from office. Police had to advise Stock to take additional security precautions, including installing CCTV at his home and using bodyguards on campus. She eventually resigned from the University, citing continued attacks against her by her colleagues and an “extreme” response from her students, saying “instead of engaging in arguing with me using reason, evidence, traditional university methods, they tell their students in conferences that I represent a disservice to trans students. “

On its website, the University of Austin says it is “seeking accreditation as a private postsecondary educational institution from the Texas Board of Higher Education and initial accreditation through the Commission on Higher Learning, an accreditor recognized by the Department of Higher Education. United States Education and Education Accreditation Council on Higher Education as an assigned regional accrediting organization. ” Critics have described the institution as a group of politically conservative “culture of cancellation” critics who have started a “non-accredited university,” such as the Houston Chronicle. said last Wednesday.
The University of Austin Alternative College has received more than 3,000 inquiries since its announcement, according to the faculty.

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