Reports suggest that Fresno State is scrambling to hang onto their donors after Professor Randa Jarrar’s celebration of Barbara Bush’s death went viral online.
“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F**k outta here with your nice words,” Jarrar tweeted earlier this week. In a separate tweet, Jarrar said that the news made her “happy” because Barbara Bush’s death likely made George W. Bush upset. Additionally, Jarrar clogged a mental health crisis hotline when she jokingly tweeted the hotline’s number out to her critics, pretending that it was her personal number.
Now, Fresno State is reportedly scrambling to convince their donors to keep their faith in the university. Fresno State President Joseph Castro sympathized with outraged donors this week. “The conversations I’m having are more about their concern, and I share that concern. I understand where they’re coming from. I’m asking them for understanding here as we work through the complexities of this issue,” Castro said.
“They’re outraged, and I’m outraged as well,” Castro added. “This is behavior that is unacceptable as a university that models the development of leaders; we just cannot tolerate it.”
Ed Dunkel Jr., an alumnus of Fresno State and the President of Precision Civil Engineering in Fresno, says that he may stop donating to his alma mater as a result of the Jarrar incident.
“I admire and have a lot of respect for President (Joseph) Castro and huge affection for Fresno State,” Dunkel said in a comment to the Fresno Bee. “But I have huge concerns. This represents such an embarrassment to the university and the community. It’s hard to believe this is an isolated thing that just happened. I have to imagine people previously knew of this person’s character and what she’s about.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has argued passionately this week that it would be unconstitutional for Fresno State to penalize Jarrar over her tweets.