The “Editors’ Note: Responding to criticism,” which appeared in the March 4 edition of the Yale Daily News, continues an unfortunate exchange between me and the editors of the News.
My op-ed piece of March 1 was submitted to the News under the header of “ONLY TO BE PRINTED WITHOUT EDITING,” which was written with all capital letters and underlined.
The piece was printed by the News with two edits (even though the editors only admit to one), removal of a sentence and removal of a footnote. I was astonished and angry. The questions “Don’t you understand simple English?” and “What is the matter with you?” came to mind after the unauthorized printing of my op-ed, as did the adjectives “disgusting” and “inexcusable.” In the original Editor’s Note of March 1, the editor failed to acknowledge that the News violated my requirement that the op-ed piece not be edited. I described that omission as “cowardly,” important context that the March 4 Editors’ Note failed to provide. I apologize for the intemperate language. I stand firm in my profound unhappiness with the News.
In the re-published version of my op-ed, the Editor added the deleted sentence dealing with contact between a reporter and my office and failed to add the deleted footnote. I did not give permission for re-publication. By adding the sentence, the Editor created a “gotcha” moment, which she exploited in the March 1 Editor’s Note, leading to further frustration and the News’ escalation of their attack on my credibility and tone.
Had the News contacted me to discuss the question of the reporter’s contact with my office, we could have resolved the issue amicably (in the same way we resolved an earlier issue regarding word count). The fact is that the reporter did not contact my office for fact checks or context. She simply provided a Sunday evening heads up that she was writing a story about the activist presentation, which would appear the next morning. In other words, the contact was not substantial.
The March 4 Editors’ Note has a link to a collection of email messages between me and Editor in Chief Rachel Treisman. The emails, which contain the quotes cited above, were printed without my permission. I would not have granted permission if asked (I was not asked), because it was an informal exchange, clearly not written for publication. I question the ethics of the decision to publish without my permission.
Yale’s Endowment provides foundational support for the University, accounting for more than 60 percent of revenues for Yale College and the Graduate and Professional Schools (excluding the School of Medicine, which relies on grants, contracts and clinical revenues with only a modest level of Endowment income). Distributions from Endowment provide across-the-board support for every aspect of life at Yale.
I have devoted my career to serving Yale. I love this University, particularly its students, which is why in addition to managing Yale’s endowment, I teach and mentor whenever I have the opportunity. The one aspect of the growth in endowment resources of which I am most proud is the fact that Yale College is one of a handful of institutions that is need-blind globally.
The ability to say to any applicant, anywhere, that if you qualify for admission, you can afford to come, makes us a stronger, better place. I hope that strengthening Yale, one of the world’s truly great institutions, will be my legacy.
David Swensen is Yale’s Chief Investment Officer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Editor’s note: The News does not typically engage in “do not edit” agreements, a position we will reinforce moving forward, as we fact check every column we publish and considered this case no exception. Still, we understand Swensen’s frustration and will strive to make our policies clearer in the future.