New University Founded in Austin to Counter 'Culture of Censorship' (Dreamstime)
By Peter Malbin | Tuesday, 09 November 2021 01:51 PM
A new liberal arts university has been established in Austin, Texas, to counter what its founders believe is a growing culture of censorship on college campuses.
"We're done waiting for America's universities to fix themselves," a promotional video for the University of Austin states on Twitter. "So we're starting a new one."
The University of Austin's board of advisers include former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss, Harvard academic Steven Pinker, former Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, and playwright David Mamet, reported The Texas Tribune.
The announcement of the new university came on Weiss' Substack.
The proposed university has raisied $10 million in private donations in two months and has plans to hire about seven staff members. Pano Kanelos, the new university’s president, told The Texas Tribune he has received more than 1,000 requests from professors to participate in the university.
The University of Austin is a private, nonprofit institution sponsored by Cicero Research, itself a nonprofit organization. The university will begin offering master's programs in fall 2022 and plans to launch an undergraduate colllege in 2024, according to the school's website. The university still needs accreditation and a campus, The Texas Tribune noted.
It is committed to "freedom of inquiry, freedom of conscience, and civil discourse," according to the school's website. Its primary founders are vocal critics of the direction traditional academic institutions have taken.
Founding faculty fellow and former Portland State University professor Peter Boghossian told Fox News: "They can't stand the censoriousness, they can't stand the diversity statements. They can't stand pretending to believe something that not only do they not believe, they just know it is false, but they can't do anything about it lest they receive accusations of bigotry or discrimination."
Boghossian said the new school is not conservative.
"This has people from all over the intellectual, political, moral spectrum," he said. "When I say intellectual spectrum, I mean they've published different things, scholarly outlooks, different epistemologies, different ways to approach problems, and it's needed because our institutions now have been hijacked by maniacs."