No PBK for GMU

Phi Beta Kappa rejected GMU’s application for membership. The Washington Post reports:

…Deshmukh declined to provide copies of letters sent to the university from Phi Beta Kappa, but she read some portions to a reporter. One letter from the organization asked about media reports that a Virginia legislator had “influenced your president” to cancel a speaking event [featuring Michael Moore]. Phi Beta Kappa officials also wrote that the incident “renewed concerns about governance problems” at the university.

Ultimately, Phi Beta Kappa decided not to visit the university and rejected a request by about 40 Phi Beta Kappa faculty members to reconsider, Deshmukh said. She said she was frustrated that society officials did not come to campus to question students and professors about the incident.

“We vehemently denied that academic freedom was impinged. The fee was the issue[the fee was $35k],” Deshmukh said. “If they had come and talked to us and walked around campus and not just closed the debate . . . I think they would have found mostly the reaction was this guy is charging a lot of money that would be better spent elsewhere.”

$35k is not a lot of money for a major speech. While at UGA, we paid Bill Cosby over $100k for an appearance.

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