I’ve just sent this to Richard Dawkins:

Dear Professor Dawkins,
I am saddened to hear of your involvement in the £18,000 a year “New College for the Humanities”.

I have always respected you as a public intellectual. But that you have allowed this position to be used to promote a private university – and so the principle of privatisation of universities – saddens me.

In particular, the New College for the Humanities will charge the majority of students £18,000 per year. This amount – double the maximum for public universities – means that the demographic able to attend this college will be highly skewed. While a few of the very brightest from average backgrounds may receive scholarships, most learning from you at this institution will only be able to attend because of the wealth of their parents.

I believe that this is dangerous. The existence of such institutions in Britain will encourage elites to perpetuate down generations. They will ensure that parental wealth has more and more to do with success in life.

Your profile is such that the media will always choose you as a face for the institution. Any role you have there will imply support for the existence of this institution.

It will give credibility to government plans to further privatise Higher Education and so may bolster their case for further funding cuts. It will certainly do little to help the current shortfall.

As such I’m asking if you would consider politely declining the offer from Prof Grayling to teach at this establishment.
Yours sincerely,
Adam Ramsay and others

The newly established ‘Common People’ campaign group are asking people to email Prof Dawkins and letting him know you disagree with his decision. You can send this letter – or your own – here.