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Cal State Fullerton Severs Ties With Its Biggest Donor Over Alleged Unethical Requests

Students return to campus on the first Monday of classes of the Fall 2016 semester. (Stock photo by Matthew Gush/Courtesy of CSU Fullerton/Flickr Creative Commons)
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Cal State Fullerton said it’s severed ties with its biggest donor, Steven Mihaylo, a college alum who runs a telecommunications company based in Tempe, Arizona.

In 2004, Mihaylo gave the university over $4 million to build its new business school. Three years later he promised $30 million, Cal State Fullerton’s biggest donation to date. The university named the building and business school after Mihaylo and put up a statue of him.

On Wednesday, in a press release, the university said Mihaylo would only release $22 million of the donation if the university bought equipment from his company and hired Republican professors.

Cal State Fullerton President Fram Virjee said he told Mihaylo that would be unethical and possibly illegal.

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Mihaylo denied that he requested the purchase from his company, and said he withheld the donation because the university promised to defend conservative views like his and was stifling free speech.

In the meantime, Cal State Fullerton has removed Mihaylo’s statue and name from the business school, but kept his name on the building.

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