Petition sent by Unkoch My Campus
April 2, 2020
In an act of protest, Saint Louis University Economics Professor David Rapach has renounced the John Simon Endowed Chair in Economics. In a memo explaining his decision, Dr. Rapach cites the university’s acceptance of a financial donation from St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield, which is “rife with violations of well-established academic norms.” Rapach also cites Sinquefield’s recent involvement in ethical breaches in local government involving a former St. Louis County Executive, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.
Saint Louis University’s decision to hire Rex Sinquefield’s hand-picked ally to direct the new Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research and give Sinquefield final approval over the disbursement of all funds from the $50 million donation fails to protect the independence and integrity of academic research.
It is also reflective of the ultra-wealthy’s strategy to use colleges and universities to build public support for their private legislative agenda-- an agenda that harms working families and public education. I support Professor Rapach’s actions because colleges and universities must serve the common good, not private interests.