The Hartford Courant argues that Yale has a real chance to make the news for its progressivism rather than its conservatism:
The judge who took the lead role in striking down the law banning gay marriage in Massachusetts is one of three people being considered for an open seat on Yale University’s governing board, the Yale Corporation.
The election, open only to Yale graduates, has the potential to turn into a referendum on how one of the nation’s oldest universities feels about making an even older institution – marriage – more inclusive. At stake is the very definition of Yale’s values.
Margaret Marshall, chief justice of Massachusett’s Supreme Judicial Court, is up against two lesser known figures: David Jones, managing director of Chrysalis Ventures in Kentucky, and Frederick Terrell, founder and CEO of Provender Capital Group in New York.
Were I a Yale alum, Marshall could count on my vote. It should be noted, however, that this nomination by the Association of Yale Alumni, which last made the news for its feverish campaign to keep petition-candidate David Lee off the Corporation, follows a long trend for this and other institutions like it to stake out sometimes brave left-wing stances on national issues while nurturing an ugly conservatism in the governance of the university and the use of its economic and institutional power locally and around the globe. If anyone has any evidence that Marshall, Jones, or Terrell might challenge Yale’s relationship to its workers, its city, or its students, please send it my way – but I suspect that the folks at AYA who vet the candidates would have found it first.
Progressive voices among Yale alumni, Yale students, and the New Haven community will have to keep fighting for a Corporation with room not only for Margaret Marshall but for David Lee – and for its own students as well.