As the news of Iribe’s generosity finally becomes public, early reaction (orchestrated by the campus) is obviously (and not inappropriately) focused on the positive. It is a big deal, even if internally we know that CS as a department has already lost control of the project, which shows every sign of being run by and for the elite faculty. The rest can watch as they like to learn what decisions have been made for us, and hope we won’t be too badly impacted.
(The net effect to some of us so far? We know we’ll be required to move into a smaller office, compete for meeting space we once had available immediately at hand for interaction with students, and walk a lot further to compete for a lot less parking. Swell.)
Other perspectives will emerge. One observation might be: Iribe must be a great fan of the Big 10! His donation almost exactly replenishes the deficit that Wallace Loh ran to move us out of the ACC! Well, the numbers match anyway.
More awkward is the mixed message. It’s great that a decade after dropping out, this one-time student is already a multi-billionaire. But the take away is, his new friends in college made a bigger difference than his UM studies or professors.