To put it mildly, I disagree with this (bolding added by me for emphasis):
Virginia’s largest public university is now officially home to the Antonin Scalia Law School, a name change that generated intense controversy when it was first announced earlier this spring.
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution that said that, according to legal advice, the name change did not require the council’s approval — that it was already enacted.
…An anonymous donor asked for the name as a condition of a $10 million gift to the law school, which came with a $20 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation.
So, for the sake of discussion, let’s put aside the fact that Antonin Scalia was by almost any measure an extremist and a bigot (and arguably corrupt as well). Let’s just imagine that that UVA Law School receives a big donation, with the stipulation that it rename itself “Sandra Day O’Connor Law School” or “Ruth Bader Ginsberg Law School” or “Barack Obama Law School” or whatever? Would that be perfectly fine as well? How about if George Soros or Tom Steyer or another liberal billionaire wanted to rename one of Virginia’s public universities after Barack Obama or Ted Kennedy or climate scientist Michael E. Mann or Planned Parenthood or whatever? Again, would that be fine, as long as it came with a big, fat check? I’d argue “no, it wouldn’t.”
As Virginia Del. Marcus Simon (who has put in a lot of work questioning/fighting this move) asked in the Washington Post story on this (bolding added by me for emphasis):
What process do we want to have for things like anonymous grants? How do we decide who gets to choose the names of our law schools and universities?
“Based on this analysis, what’s to stop the University of Virginia from calling itself the Coca-Cola University at Charlottesville?
“I know money’s tight, but we can’t let money talk completely when it comes to our public institutions.”
Right, because in addition to having wealthy individuals donating money to our public, taxpayer-funded institutions of higher learning, how about corporations? Do they even have to be U.S.-based? How about renaming Virginia Tech the “Saudi ARAMCO Technical University?” Where does this end? Do Virginia’s “leaders” even care? And why should we, the taxpayers, keep funding schools that receive huge sums of $$$ from wealthy individuals and/or corporations? Shouldn’t the schools have to choose — either be public or private, taxpayer-funded or corporate/billionaire-funded?
P.S. And again, this isn’t even getting into the issue of who Antonin Scalia was, what he stood for, and whether he deserves to have GMU Law School (or any Virginia public educational institution) named after him.