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Billionaire investor Ken Griffin calls on Harvard to embrace ‘western values’



(Reuters) – Billionaire investor Kenneth Griffin called on his alma mater Harvard University on Saturday to embrace “western values”, saying that the turmoil across college campuses was the product of a “cultural revolution” in U.S. education.

Griffin, founder of U.S. hedge fund Citadel, told the Financial Times in an interview that the U.S. had “lost sight of education as the means of pursuing truth and acquiring knowledge” over the past decade.

“Harvard should put front and centre (that it) stands for meritocracy in America…,” Griffin said, adding that schools should “embrace Western values that have built one of the greatest nations in the world.”

Griffin who has donated more than half a billion dollars to Harvard University said in January that he has halted donations to the school over how it handled antisemitism on campus.

“What you’re seeing now is the end-product of this cultural revolution in American education playing out on American campuses, in particular, using the paradigm of the oppressor and the oppressed,” Griffin told the FT.

“The protests on college campuses are almost like performative art..,” he said.

Griffin’s remarks come amid arrests of dozens of pro-Palestinian activists at universities across America in the latest crackdowns on demonstrations roiling U.S. campuses.

The protesting students are demanding a cease-fire in Israel’s incursion into Gaza and have demanded their schools divest from companies with ties to Israel.

Since the first mass arrests at Columbia University on April 18, at least 2,600 demonstrators have been detained at more than 100 protests in 39 states and Washington, D.C., according to The Appeal, a nonprofit news organization.

Griffin, who started trading in his Harvard dormitory, spoke at the Managed Funds Association conference in Miami in January about America’s elite universities and criticized the education at the universities blaming the “DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) agenda.”

(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)

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