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University of Austin set to open to combat 'culture of censorship'

The private liberal arts school includes founders from universities such as Harvard, the University of Chicago and Stanford University.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video above is regarding critical race theory in schools.

A private liberal arts school, the University of Austin, is planning to open soon.

The university, founded by people from universities such as Harvard, the University of Chicago and Stanford University, is "dedicated to the pursuit of truth."

"We're done waiting for universities to fix themselves, so we're starting a new one," the University of Austin said in a tweet posted Monday, Nov. 8. The university then directs prospective students to its website, uaustin.org.

The president of the university, which is abbreviated as UATX, is Pano Kanelos, who was most recently the president of St. John’s College in Annapolis. He said he moved to Austin three months ago to found the university.  

He wrote an article for a publication hosted by former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss. He said the purpose of the school is to address what they believe is a declining dedication to protect free speech and civil discourse.

"Do we honestly believe that the crucial means to that end—freedom of inquiry and civil discourse—prevail when illiberalism has become a pervasive feature of campus life?" he said in the letter.

He said students will have a curriculum taught by "founders of daring ventures, dissidents who have stood up to authoritarianism, pioneers in tech, and the leading lights in engineering and the natural sciences."

Kanelos told The Texas Tribune that the university has raised $10 million in private donations in two months. The Texas Tribune also reported that the university is in the process of acquiring land for the campus, does not have degree programs and does not have accreditation yet.

The university wants to start teaching its first undergraduate students in the fall of 2024.


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