The executive council of the University of California at Irvine's School of Humanities has voted to turn down a $3 million donation from a foundation that sought hiring approval for professorships it endowed, reports campus newspaper New University. The council also recommended that the university reconsider taking an additional $3 million pledged by the Dharma Civilization Foundation, which critics claim uses philanthropy to spread a Hindu nationalist ideology on colleges campuses.
The foundation committed $6 million to the university in January 2015 to establish four endowed chairs in South Asian studies. The gift, which had been approved by Irvine campus's dean of humanities, engendered faculty protests over the level of donor control in the gift agreements. The humanities council also established an ad hoc panel to examine donor interests in future gifts as declining state aid makes the campus more reliant on philanthropy.