Talk:American Council of Trustees and Alumni

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Rewrite entry to address previous concerns and improve it[edit]

I have completely reorganized the entry, and also expanded it and rewritten parts of it. The previous entry suffered from three main flaws which I have tried to address:

Omissions, errors and unverifiable claims: I have updated all the information (e.g. Lewit succeeded Martin as chairman), replaced dead links (e.g. for criticism of Defending Civilization) and supplied important missing information (e.g. Senator Joe Lieberman was one of ACTA’s founding members). Since information concerning seed money is not available, I have created a section on funding which incorporates the two sources of funding mentioned in the last entry. I have also corrected some errors (e.g. ACTA is not a membership organization and one cannot therefore compare its membership to that of other organizations. In terms of governance, the only real overlap between these organizations concerns Ed Meese who sits on the boards of ACTA and the Federalist Society, and is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation). Lastly, I have replaced the unattributed criticism of ACTA with criticism from verifiable and credible sources (e.g. the AAUP).

Failure to Respect NPOV: Recent edits of this page have failed to respect NPOV, either by omitting information critical of ACTA or by being excessively critical of the organization. With a view to addressing this issue and removing the neutrality flag (the page has been flagged for more than a year), I have been careful, on the one hand, to make it clear it to the reader what comes from ACTA’s website and represents the organization’s views, and on the other hand, to cite legitimate criticism of the organization and their work, coming from reputable sources. I have eliminated references to which report the organization might best be known for, by simply listing their most important reports in chronological order.

Based on my review of the organization and the positions it has taken, I have concluded that the label "conservative," which the previous editor inserted in the opening line, is misleading. ACTA is registered as a non-partisan and independent organization. Unlike several of the other organizations it is lumped in with by the previous editors (e.g. Heritage), it never describes itself as being conservative. Some in the academy accuse it of being conservative but this does not reflect the institutional stance of the organization. Lastly, insofar as ACTA’s focus is exclusively confined to higher education (and hence excludes the great issues that divide conservatives from liberals), and insofar as it has altogether ignored the higher ed issues over which liberals and conservatives have clashed the most (e.g. preferential admissions for minorities) and espoused several of those over which they agree (e.g. limiting tuition increases), the label conservative is inaccurate.

False picture: Previous entries altogether failed to explain to the reader what the organization actually does. I have remedied that by creating a section on ACTA’s activities. Furthermore, the generally biased tone of previous editors led to an excessive focus on certain issues (e.g. the Defending Civilization report) at the expense of several others (e.g. accreditation, which is not as controversial as the Defending Civilization report, but seems to represent a more important part of ACTA’s work today).

J.V. Martin 13:30 Mar 12, 2010 (UTC)

POV review[edit]

I tagged the item for NPOV revision because, to date, the page, with a few exceptions, is almost verbatim cribbed from ACTA's own uncritical website. In other words, the text was largely propaganda.

The previous editors uncritically stated "the mission" of the organization in terms even more glowing than ACTA's own.

The text identified a largely disputed and controversial report as one that the organization is "best known" for. The description of the report reflects entirely the position of its authors.

No mention was made of clear political affiliation of the organization--both by membership and sources of funding.

I've added some material, although, obviously, it still requires a lot of work. I left out most of the citations for new edits because it would be beneficial if others verified the material prior to affixing specific citations--on the other hand, for each detail that I added there are literally hundreds of citations available.

Although each organization should have the right to contribute primary information about itself, ultimate public editing of the corresponding article should not show its hand. If, after multiple revisions, it is still obvious that the entry was penned by people affiliated with the organization, POV simply cannot be neutral! Alex.deWitte (talk) 09:11, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

I have reviewed the entire history of the article. In fact, virtually all the revisions that created the clear bias have been done by a single editor, which makes me suspect involvement of someone from the organization. This individual not only eliminated any attempt of even-handed coverage, but he even removed any references to politics, including tags that have been placed in the earliest versions and maintained by nearly all other editors.

In my opinion, the changes are malicious rather than uninformed. The editing out of all references to political activities of the organization and politics in general are bordering on manic. Previous versions had included a considerable amount of information that I have restored (albeit without consulting with previous edits). Some things might have been stated better in earlier versions, some I've improved upon. But they should be included. Alex.deWitte (talk) 09:28, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Driveby tag[edit]

Wikipedia policy states:

Drive-by tagging is strongly discouraged. The editor who adds the tag must address the issues on the talk page, pointing to specific issues that are actionable within the content policies, namely Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Simply being of the opinion that a page is not neutral is not sufficient to justify the addition of the tag. Tags should be added as a last resort.

The policy also states that:

To mark a dispute on a page, type

, which expands into:

   The neutrality of this article is disputed.

Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved.

(edit: Template:POV ) Please note: The above label is meant to indicate that a discussion is ongoing, and hence that the article contents are disputed and volatile. If you add the above code to an article which seems to be biased to you, but there is no prior discussion of the bias, you need to at least leave a note on the article's talk page describing what you consider unacceptable about the article. The note should address the problem with enough specificity to allow constructive discussion towards a resolution, such as identifying specific passages, elements, or phrasings that are problematic.

Another related boilerplate is


   This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality.

Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page.

(edit: Template:POV check ) Use this boilerplate when there is no active discussion of a dispute on the talk page, but the article does not appear to conform to NPOV guidelines. You should explain what's wrong with the article on the talk page.

Because there is no discussion or dispute, I have replaced the "dispute" tag with a "POV check" tag. Thanks.David Justin 14:44, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Article tags[edit]

I have recently made quite a few improvements & additions to this article, and I think it's time to reevaluate the article tags. Before removing any of them, I want to have a discussion with any other interested editors about the tags:

1) The first tag says the article "relies on references to primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject, rather than references from independent authors and third-party publications." I have removed almost every reference that was pointing to the ACTA website and I have added dozens of third-party references.

2) The second tag says the article "may contain wording that merely promotes the subject without imparting verifiable information." I think the addition of new sources has gone a long way toward imparting verifiable information. I also removed a lot of language that was just a promotional-style listing of ACTA publications. I don't see any language in the current article that seems promotional, but if someone does, please say so and let's fix it.

3) Third tag: "Its neutrality is disputed." I'm not sure how or if this differs from tag #2. I'm guessing the promotional wording had been the reason for the tag, and since I believe I have removed promotional wording, I don't see a reason this tag needs to be here.

Thanks! Safehaven86 (talk) 22:58, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Update: No one has chimed in, so I'm going to go ahead and remove the tags. Safehaven86 (talk) 22:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)


Nowhere on this page does it say that the organisation is conservative, yet on Saul Bellow's page it says "In1995 along with Lynne V. Cheney and other noted conservatives, he helped found the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) based in Washington, D.C. and funded by the conservative Bradley Foundation and John M. Olin Foundation." I think either this page should say something, or that page shouldn't. - (talk) 13:07, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

There's no contradiction. The passage you quote doesn't say this organization is conservative. It says only that the Bradley Foundation is conservative. --Orlady (talk) 01:28, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

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This is shameless advertising with no criticism[edit]

Apparently this bunch of conservatives went around making McCarthyesque lists of academics: "Calling professors the weak link in America's response to the attack, the report excoriates faculty members for invoking tolerance and diversity as antidotes to evil and pointing accusatory fingers, not at the terrorists, but at America itself." Omgtotallyradical (talk) 00:48, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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