Palantir Co-Founder Starts Anti-Woke University With Clown Car of Intellectual Dark Web Dweebs

One group of the most intolerant right-wing pundits and columnists in the country is starting their own university to challenge the supposed woke academic status quo. This was made possible by funding from an obscure Libertarian nonprofit that is linked to Palantir cofounder Joe Lonsdale.


UATX stands for University of Austin. This is not the same school.

Bari Weiss is a former New York Times opinion editors who spent her career yelping over left-wing Twitter mobs. Niall Ferguson, a conservative British historian, left Stanford after leaked emails showed that he encouraged campus Republicans to conduct "opposition research" on a student of the left. Andrew Sullivan, an amateur race scientist and self-declared expert in ethnic penis size, and Sohrab Ahmari, a scorched-earth culture warrior, and Steven Pinker, a political alarmist who is a popular with the neoliberals. Ayaan Hirsi Al, a Hoover Institution scholar, is one of the "founding faculty members". He believes Islam is inherently violent. And he has recently started to recite the phrase "wokeism is just like white supremacy."

Pano Kanelos (the former president of St. John's College in Annapolis), who is another culture-war obsessive and believes academic freedom has been impeded by leftists, will lead the effort. Lonsdale, a fellow traveler and venture capitalist, will join them. He is well-known for his criticisms of Silicon Valley's allegedly oppressive political culture.

UATX--which is currently not accredited in any way other than giving people aneurysms - states on its website that it is "fiscally supported" by Cicero Research. Cicero Research is affiliated with Lonsdale’s libertarian Cicero Institute. Lonsdale is most well-known for his partnership with Peter Thiel, right-wing venture capitalist. He helped to create Palantir, a big data analysis company that was notorious for winning contracts with the military and federal immigration agencies. (Disclosure: Thiel funded a lawsuit that led to the bankruptcy of Gizmodo's former parent, Gawker Media. Lonsdale and 8VC, his company, moved to Austin last year from San Francisco. They cited Austin's proximity to the companies he supports across the country as well as the possibility of escaping California tax rates. Texas has no income tax.

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According to the Daily Beast public filings list Lonsdale as a member in good standing of Cicero Research. Lonsdale is listed as a financial benefactor for UATX and also as a member of its advisory board. However, it's unclear how important a role Lonsdale's will play in the project. A spokesperson for the school said that the school was proud to have Joe Lonsdale on the board. The Beast also noted that UATX claims it has $250 million in seed funding and is seeking additional investment of $250 million.

UATX is not yet offering degrees, but it is applying for accreditation by the Texas Higher Education Board. Initial accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission will allow UATX to offer undergraduate degrees in 2024 and master's degrees fall 2022. It explains why Austin was chosen as a location, saying "If it's good for Elon Musk or Joe Rogan it's great for us." The FAQ also explains that Austin is experiencing a "historical boom in capital and talent."


Lonsdale's political views can be seen in a recent tweet, where he replied to a tweet regarding Pete Buttigieg, Transportation Secretary. He claimed that half-year-old paternity leave takes men to "losers", failing to respond to the "old days" masculine response. Initialized Capital founders Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan and Garry Tan didn't like the comment. They responded that their company provides four months of paternity leave. Chasten Buttigieg was Buttigieg’s spouse. She stated that their baby had severe health issues and spent three week in hospital. This included a "terrifying" week on a ventilator. Lonsdale has also denied rape allegations against a Stanford student that he mentored.

New York Mag pointed out that UATX's concept isn't new. Conservatives have been trying to create their own academic safe places free from dissenting voices over the past decades. For example, Jerry Falwell's evangelical Liberty University and Republican candidate factory Patrick Henry College. Hillsdale College is also friendly to MAGA. UATX is not known for its embrace of open debate. This was evident in the case of Bari Weiss who, as a Columbia University student, became notorious for calling Arab professors Israel-haters. Or Kathleen Stock, an anti-trans scholar who left the University of Sussex because students opposed her views. UATX is more of an obsessive cancel culture hivemind that a beacon for debate, as history has shown.


Gizmodo reached out to UATX for comment, but they didn't respond immediately. We'll update this article if we hear back.