The president of Trinity Washington University, though, has had plenty to say about one of its graduates. “Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trinity Class of 1989, has played a large role in facilitating the manipulation of facts and encouraging the grave injustice being perpetrated by the Trump Administration’s war on immigrants among many other issues,” Patricia McGuire wrote recently.
University presidents used to be part of the national dialogue, decades ago when the demands of the job were less complicated and the need for fundraising less consuming. But it has long been unusual for a college to single out a graduate for criticism, especially as college and university presidents are expected to build community among a diverse group of students, faculty, staff and alumni, to foster pride in the institution, and to raise money and support from people on all sides of the political spectrum.
Because of the importance of alumni to fundraising, said Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education, “presidents tread very carefully. Losing the support of alumni is a very bad idea.”