That being said, I don’t know what legal obligation universities have, and I don’t know the specifics of this case. But paying a speaker (depending on price) doesn’t seem like a thoroughly objectionable thing. Whether it was the school directly or not, inviting a speaker doesn’t mean the school is taking a political stance, and it doesn’t seem outside the purview of a school trying to provide a broad range of experiences for students to learn from.
I’d agree $75k from the university budget seems like too much, but the scale is always hard to judge on these fees. Lots of speakers are paid handsomely, maybe that’s the market rate for a pundit with Ben Shapiro’s following? Regardless, that assessment depends a lot on budget specifics and what the overall speaking environment is more than it is guaranteed from the simple fact that he was paid.
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