Portland State University rejects grants and gifts from Boeing after student and faculty demands over ties to Israel

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Portland State University will pause accepting any more gifts or grants from the Boeing Co., bending to demands from faculty and students who object to the company’s manufacturing division, which makes components for weapons, and due to Boeing’s ties to Israel.

Boeing helped develop Israel’s Arrow 3 missile defense system, which protected the nation from hundreds of missiles launched by Iran earlier this month. The Arrow 3 system helped intercept all but a handful of drones and missiles during the onslaught. Iran and Palestinians are trying to wipe Israel off the map; Israel is standing its ground and fighting the Hamas terrorists in Gaza with the help of the United States.

Portland State University President Ann Cudd said her decision came in response to “the passion with which these demands are being repeatedly expressed” by members of the university community. The rejection of Boeing support may not be permanent, she said.

Boeing may welcome the rejection of its philanthropy. Its first-quarter revenues were down 8% year over year, since quality control issues have been a well-publicized issue for the company, which has also been criticized for adopting “equity” hiring practices, rather than focusing on quality. The matter has not been helped by the loss of a door plug during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, and subsequent failures of other Boeing jets in service. This past week, a Delta flight from New York City to Los Angeles had to turn back after its emergency exit slide detached in flight.

But the move by Portland State doesn’t relate to safety of passengers. It’s the growing anti-Israel and anti-semitic environment on college campuses that has fed into the decision. The squeaky wheel got the grease, as Cudd said her decision was because the voices on one side were so loud.

“Indeed, I have heard many students and faculty express that they would like to see PSU cut ties with the company. I initially found these demands confusing and arbitrary: PSU has no investments in Boeing but accepts philanthropic gifts from the company and, given that Boeing is a major employer in the region, many of our alumni work there. However, the passion with which these demands are being repeatedly expressed by some in our community motivates me, as a scholar of academic ethics and a university leader responsible for the well being of our campus constituents, to listen and ask additional questions,” Cudd wrote in her letter.

PSU will host a forum at which the demands “can be carefully framed and debated. We will organize a two hour moderated debate in May to include faculty and student voices. I will participate in the forum, representing the perspective of academic ethics. I want to share my thoughts on the matter and model the civil discourse and spirit of open inquiry that should guide any great university,” she wrote.

“In consideration of the strong feelings that have been expressed, PSU will pause seeking or accepting any further gifts or grants from the Boeing Company until we have had a chance to engage in this debate and come to conclusions about a reasonable course of action,” Cudd wrote.

Her letter also addressed to the on-campus pro-Hamas, anti-Israel demonstrations that have lately occurred at PSU and many other campuses around the nation.

“I have also heard concerns about how PSU responds to individuals engaged in protest during this fraught time and on this point I want to be absolutely clear. No one involved in a protest has been sanctioned for the content of their message. PSU has always been and will remain a place where free speech and academic freedom are treasured,” Cudd said.

“Our focus is on drawing a bright line between protecting freedom of speech and activities including discrimination, harassment, intimidation, property damage and assault. We have reasonable time, place and manner restrictions in place — these are community standards so that our university can continue to be a place for learning, teaching, working and living. We will continue to enforce our policies evenly for all campus events, including protest, and expect all of our campus community members to conduct themselves in ways that follow student and professional codes of conduct. This includes following all anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies,” Cudd wrote.

18 COMMENTS

  1. So the president likes the “passion of the demands” of her spoiled and unruly students. Now she wants to have a forum for open debate. I have a feeling attendance by Jewish students will be sparse. This forum will probably escalate into a passionate riot with passionate property destruction.

    • Boomerang, don’t bet on it. American culture has been in steady decline for over six decades. Why would the trend suddenly change now? Most boomers are more interested in their golf score. They need a ton of bricks to fall on them to get their attention.

  2. I thank Boeing for the designs and work over the years that has kept the flying public and military and our partners in good aircraft.

  3. Instead of giving money to a laughingstock institution, how about putting it towards figuring out why so many of your planes are broken?

  4. This is the logical conclusion of woke ideology. All of these protesters would be the very first people murdered by those they are “defending”. It’s so absolutely absurd that it borders on insanity, it’s almost beyond comprehension. There will doubtlessly be those who support this nonsense here, and they will all be the same characters who have repeatedly defend Hamas, terrorists, and terrorist supporters who want nothing more than the destruction of America, Israel, and anything that supports freedom and liberty.

    • I’d say you hit the nail on the head. The surprising past is how it’s tearing the united states apart and these terrorist are most likely celebrating that fact. It seems to have worked out better for them than they expected or was it also part of the plan?

    • It was Boeing’s DEI that started all their problems in the first place with inferior hires to build complex planes. Boeing deserves all their problems.

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