ASU Megadonor Yanks $400K a Year Donation After Professor Fired

(TargetDailyNews.com) – A well-known donor to Arizona State University who regularly donates $400,000 per year has withheld his donation due to the university firing a professor for hosting a campus event that featured well-known conservative speakers Charlie Kirk and Dennis Prager.

The controversy began when Ann Atikson, professor and executive director of the T.W. Lewis Center in ASU’s Barrett Honors College, was fired in what she believes to be retaliation for her event titled “Health, Wealth and Happiness.”

Contrary to her claims, the university has said that she was fired due to the T.W. Lewis Center’s loss of funding. However, Tom Lewis, the megadonor providing the center’s yearly funding, abruptly canceled his yearly donation after he noticed “left-wing hostility” directed toward Atkinson’s event.

The university denied that Atkinson’s firing had anything to do with the event in a press release, saying that the controversy generated by the event from both students and faculty were examples of free speech, and that the university “allowed all to be heard.”

A wide majority of the Barrett faculty, 37 out of 47 members, signed a petition condemning Atkinson’s event and urged students and staff not to attend in the days leading up to the event, according to Turning Point USA, the conservative organization founded by Charlie Kirk.

Nicholas Giordono, a political science professor and higher education fellow for the conservative organization Campus Reform, told Just the News that he was most concerned with the sheer amount of honors college faculty members who signed the petition. He said that faculty members “set an example” for the students, and that when students try and “shout down” and “marginalize” political minorities on campus, they are emboldened by faculty members signing petitions like the one from Barrett Honors College.

In response to the controversy at ASU, Senate Republicans in the Arizona state legislature announced the launching of a committee that would conduct an investigation into free speech on college campuses.

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