Sunday, June 5, 2016

Trustee Diane Hendricks

By Jeff Simpson 

As an alumnus of Beloit College, I was greatly disturbed when I heard that one of our Trustees, Diane Hendricks is VP of the Trump Victory Fund.   

Here is the letter that I sent our President Scott Bierman:

 Dear President Bierman:

My name is Jeff Simpson and I am a proud alumnus of Beloit College, class of 1988. I am writing because something has been bothering me the past couple weeks. I am deeply disturbed that Trustee Diane Hendricks, is also vice 
chair of the Donald Trump Victory Committee.

This has nothing to do with my personal political beliefs. I did not write you while Ms. Hendricks has been the largest donor to Governor Walker. Nor did I call attention to the conflict of interest when Ms. Hendricks has given millions to a Governor who has ended tenure at the public University of Wisconsin system, while having a say in who gets tenure at our fine institution. Despite the fact that I vehemently disagree with her on these, and many other, issues. I understand what makes America, and Beloit College, great is a variety of opinions and viewpoints all brought together.

That being said, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump takes things to a different level. Mr. Trump has shown us continual flashes of racism, sexism, xenophobia, misogyny, hatred and calls to violence throughout his campaign. He has been endorsed by white nationalists all over the country and has landed his latest supporter – the communist Government of North Korea.

The whole world is watching America in this election season and Donald Trump is not showing a shining example of who we are or what we as a country could/should be.

The Beloit College mission states in part “Our emphasis on international and interdisciplinary perspectives, the integration of knowledge with experience, and close collaboration among peers, professors, and staff equips our students to approach the complex problems of the world ethically and thoughtfully”.

Mr. Trump, with his talk of building walls, deporting foreigners, banning Muslims, abhorrent treatment of women, making fun of the disabled and giddiness over people who have struggled through the last recession, among many other disgusting examples has shown to stand for the exact opposite of what Beloit College stands for.

As you know, Beloit College welcomes students from 46 states and nearly 40 countries throughout the world. Is having one of our Trustee’s working very hard to elect and one of the faces of the Trump campaign, the message we want to send these prospective students, current enrollees and alumni as representative of OUR college?

I came to Beloit College fresh off the farm, where the most diversity I have dealt with was the kids who wore Lee Jeans and the ones who wore Levi’s. Attending Beloit College amidst its diversity of races and locations, is what really helped me grow and become the person I am today. On one side of me my freshman year was a classmate from Sweden and on the other was a gay male. Being exposed to and learning to not only get along but become friends with people who I had never seen or associated with before is what gave me the amazing college experience that I treasure.

Let’s not put up a “Not Welcome” sign to people that look and believe and worship differently than me.

I do not have a problem with Ms. Hendricks serving on one board or the other, but I believe for her to serve on both boards simultaneously is not only a conflict of interest, but also will do lasting damage to the excellent reputation Beloit College has earned and deserves.

Thank you!

Jeff Simpson 


  1. Bravo, Mr. Simpson. Please let us know if and when President Bierman responds to your letter.

    1. i got a reply tonight, will post it in the morning with my response


  2. Excellent letter! Thank you. But I would take it one step further. Ms. Hendricks sounds, essentially, anti-education, and I would think this is a conflict for her on any educational institution. Neil Slobin, '71

  3. Ms Hendricks is a Disgrace to the state of Wisconsin

  4. Yes. Great article Jeff. I agree with the article and every comment made. Ryan Frey. Class of 2003

  5. Ms. Hendricks, from all reports of those who've actually worked with her at Beloit, has had a long tenure of generous service to the college, and absolutely NO efforts to meddle in the delivery of academics there. I despise her politics, but this kind of effort to shut ourselves off from thought/speech we dislike is much more in line with the authoritarian fascism of Donald Trump, than it is Liberalism. ~ Paul Noble, Class of '86

    1. Paul, as my old RA I appreciate you commenting on my blog. I think I am not getting my point across very well. In my opinion, I don't think politics, liberalism, conservatism, fascism etc ... Have anything to do with this.

      What bothers me is the racism, sexism, and misogyny that matter. He has went beyond what should be considered acceptable in society.
      Maybe I did a better job explaining it here

  6. As president, Bierman's #1 job is to secure $$$ for the college. So anyone who has $ to give, credit relationships to give, or anything like that, he is going to do everything in his power to ingratiate himself and the college with them, with pretty much no exceptions. He will push the "separation of $$ and board seats from policy" angle as much as he can.

    Whether or not Hendricks is pushing an authoritarian xenophobic agenda on the board -- and all signs point to no from what I have read -- I think Beloit has much bigger and more immediate culture problems than one "friend of a friend" racist right-winger on the board!

    I would argue that things like these are red herrings. There are much more immediate issues that actually affect people's lives. Some examples:

    * Women's experiences with sexual assault on campus
    * Culture of affluence causing financial problems for the majority of students and prospective students (financial aid, room and board, tuition, on-campus living requirement)
    * Inadequate/outdated staff and curriculum in many fields.

    - Forest, Class of 2014

  7. I'm with Forest on the current issues on campus. I have been asking for years via letters and calls what are they doing about sexual assault on campus and I get the same lame non answers. I have never given $$ to beloit because of this I have never given to my brothers memorial fund for this reason and it is a point of contention between my father and myself because he gives lots of $$$$ to the college knowing that they do not protect students from adult or punish the perps. Both of us were told that since they put up signs there is no sexual assault on campus