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Elon Musk, CEO of a Texas transplant company, plans to establish a university in Austin, according to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”. To submit tax returns for one of his charities First reported by Bloomberg News.
The charity, called The Foundation, plans to use a $100 million gift from Musk to create and launch an elementary and high school in Austin focused on teaching science, technology, engineering, and math. Once fully operational, the filing indicates that the school will focus on establishing a university. The school intends to obtain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, a necessary first step to launching the school.
According to the file published by Bloomberg, the university will teach students in person “as well as use distance education technologies.” Enrollment is expected to start with 50 students and expand over time. The school will fund its activities through donations and tuition fees, although the registration also states that if a student cannot pay tuition or fees, the school can provide financial aid. It is currently hiring an executive director, teachers and administrators, the filing states.
Musk’s plan to start a new university in Austin — home to the flagship University of Texas at Austin and several other private universities — comes as another new private school in the city plans to officially open to students in the fall of 2024.
The University of Austin was launched two years ago by a group of higher education critics in response to their belief that American college campuses were no longer a place where students and faculty could exchange ideas openly.
In a conversation with the Texas Tribune on Wednesday, UT Austin President Pano Canellos said he hopes the university will be a champion of free speech and open investigation.
“We are living in a moment where things seem to be falling apart, where people seem to be drifting apart, where institutions seem to be shaking to their foundations,” Kanellos said. “The best response is to build new things.”
Musk’s new university doesn’t have a name yet. The institution did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The foundation’s trustees include Jared Birchall, head of Musk’s family office; Stephen Chidester, tax attorney at Withers Worldwide; and Ronald Jung and Teresa Holland, who work in Catalyst Family’s California office, according to Bloomberg.
The Texas Tribune partners with Open Campus to cover higher education.
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