A couple Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield donated $50 million to the Saint Louis University. The news was a good news and gave the faculty and administration a hope to “accelerate SLU’s rise as a world-class research university”, until they heard about the clauses attached to it.
The donation that was announced in August is one of the largest in the history of Roman Catholic Institutions, however the grant is still on its way, and the university administration is still in talks with the Sinquefields.
The money was per the officials of the university “will serve as the focal point for SLU’s strategic goal of growing the scale and eminence of its research and scholarship”.
Apart from that the funds will also be used for a new Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research on the Missouri campus and for the university’s chess team. However, the terms of the donors are causing quite a hiccup in the deal. The agreement stipulates that Rex Sinquefield, who is the donor and also a Saint Louis alumnus and trustee, and Mark Higgins dean of the business school would be the ones selecting the director of the new economic research center.
In fact the director was appointed without any prior notice or any contribution on the decision by the faculty-led hiring committee. The director happens to be a professor at the University of Missouri, was named and given the title of Sinquefield Professor of Economics.
Douglas Rush, who is the president of the university’s Faculty Senate and an associate professor of the higher education administration said, “The bottom line issue being confronted across the country is what level of control or influence should a donor have over the operation or various operations based on them giving a gift”.