Support for LAist comes from
True LA stories, powered by you
Stay Connected

Share This

News

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

5d2fc4a11f54070009a69fb7-eight.jpg
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)
Our reporting is free for everyone, but it’s not free to make.
LAist only exists with reader support. If you're in a position to give, your donation powers our reporters and keeps us independent.

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.

Support for LAist comes from

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.

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletters. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.