An email exchange published by the university’s student newspaper shows the endowment CIO criticizing the paper and calling its editor’s actions “disgusting” — criticisms he repeated to Institutional Investor.
March 05, 2018
Yale University’s student newspaper has made public a series of emails between university CIO David Swensen and the newspaper’s editor-in-chief in which Swensen expressed outrage over a decision to eliminate a sentence from a column he had authored.
The Yale Daily News published the email exchange on Sunday, alongside an editors’ note addressing the criticisms from Swensen. The emails show Swensen responding angrily to the edit made to his opinion piece, calling the student journalists’ actions “inexcusable” and “disgusting.” In a later email, he called the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Yale junior Rachel Treisman, a “coward.”
When reached by Institutional Investor over email, Swensen doubled down on these criticisms, again using the terms “disgusting” and “cowardly” to describe Treisman’s actions.
Swensen’s column had been in response to a Yale Daily News article published on February 5 that covered a teach-in event led by student activists critical of the endowment’s investments. The op-ed, published on March 1, asserted that some of the student activists’ claims about the endowment were untrue and argued that the Yale Daily News staff should have done more to fact check the claims before publishing the article. The paper later issued a correction addressing Swensen’s points about the claims.
Swensen told II in an email that he had instructed the Yale Daily News staff in all-caps that they were not to edit his column before publishing it. However, in the original version of the op-ed, the student paper had removed a single sentence that they believed to be inaccurate.
According to the editors’ note, “Swensen wrote that the reporter of the Feb. 5 story did not contact Yale’s Investments Office before the story’s publication when, in fact, the reporter did.”