As an alumnus, I anguish over what the University of Montana has become, particularly over the past decade.
Its full-blown surrender to progressive ideology has not gone unnoticed by thoughtful Montanans and their college-age children who increasingly have chosen to look beyond a Missoula campus that has seen its undergraduate enrollment drop by nearly 50%.
Rampant cuts in department programs and the faculty that taught them have left current and prospective students to wonder if the curriculum they are pursuing will be diminished beyond the point of relevance. During one series of budget cuts in 2018 (purportedly across all departments), two programs — Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies and African-American Studies — received substantially increased funding; 58% and 138% respectively.
To friends who have questioned my decision to fund a student success scholarship, not at UM, but the state's other major institution, I say my core concern is not for “the school” but for the Montana kid deserving to attend the institution where he or she has the best opportunity for receiving the most meaningful and long lasting experience — one unfettered by mind-numbing proselytizing.
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In closing, I left a university that I revered starting my working career in San Francisco, a city I grew to love. Years later, I wonder about both — and who really left whom?