Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government is named after Len Blavatnik, the mega-rich Ukrainian businessman who donated £75m ($97m) to help found the school in 2010. It has now come to light that Blavatnik also donated $1m to Donald Trump's inauguration committee, and one professor at the school, Bo Rothstein, has made the ultimate principled stance in opposition to this: he has resigned from his job in protest. Read more about the situation at Calvert Journal here. An excerpt from the article is below:
When Bo Rothstein, a professor of government and public policy at the school of government, discovered the sizeable sum Blavatnik had donated to Donald Trump, the cleanliness of the Ukrainian's expenditure was called into question. Following the discovery, Rothstein resigned immediately, calling the donation “incomprehensible and irresponsible”.
“I'm not going to give legitimacy and credibility to this person. $1m is a sizeable amount of money. In my book by donating to the inauguration of Donald Trump you are supporting Donald Trump,” he subsequently told The Guardian.
In response, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian philanthropist stated that Blavatnik's donation was to the inaugration committee that was founded over a century ago, and that he never donated to Trump directly.
This is not however the first time Oxford has found itself in the mire of a Blavatnik-based scandal. Two years ago, a group of activists and academics, including Russian physicist Pavel Litvinov, urged Oxford not to accept the billionaire's £75m ($97m) donation and to “stop selling its reputation and prestige to Putin's associates”.
Image: Professor Bo Rothstein, who resigned from Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government after discovering that it's eponymous benefactor had given a sizable donation to Donald Trump.