Former president of Harvard Derek Bok in Chronicle of Higher Ed: "Money is a mixed blessing for higher education," and here's why.
"The preferences and priorities of wealthy donors may not be ideal for shaping the priorities of a university. Nevertheless, it is difficult to conceive of any other way of allocating resources that would be clearly preferable. One can imagine a system in which the vast bulk of financial support took the form of block grants from the state that universities could allocate as they choose. The British government followed this practice for many years. Yet it is not self-evident that academic leaders will be better or wiser in choosing appropriate priorities than the mix of government agencies, foundations, corporations, and individual donors that share this function with universities in the United States. Academic institutions have their own internal politics and preferences that do not always reflect the legitimate needs of the various stakeholders with an interest in the work of higher education." -- Derek Bok, the Chronicle of Higher Education