The strange tale of Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. just seems to continue to become … well … even more strange. After returning over $21 million and removing his name from the law school, Alabama released a trove of emails. It certainly seems as though the dispute actually had nothing to do with the state’s controversial abortion law after all. Instead, it appears Mr. Culverhouse was looking to exert excessive influence over the law school.
Law school spokeswoman Kellee Reinhart succinctly explained, “Our decision was never about the issue of abortion. It was always about ending the continued outside interference by the donor in the operations of The University of Alabama School of Law.”
First of all, we applaud the law school’s decision to release the emails. We always thought it was odd to blame any school — public or private — for the laws passed in its state. In our opinion, the emails do support the school’s stated position in this case.
Second, we hope prospective education philanthropists will consider that any “strings attached” to gifts must be made WHEN the gift is offered. Not AFTER the fact.