It may well be that UCLA and the Regents should not have pledged to do something forever. But that is what happened and this matter might have been better handled as a result. As prior posts have noted, it appears that the sale is not conditioned on any pledge by the buyer to preserve the garden.
Below are some excerpts from the article and a link to the full text:
UCLA Violates a Long-Standing Regent's Bequest and Endangers One of the Rarest Private Japanese Gardens in the United States
Charles Birnbaum, Huffington Post LA, 5/2/12 (excerpts)
UCLA occupies an esteemed position in the world of higher education and has many generous supporters. In fact, on March 16, 2012, a Chronicle of Higher Education headline trumpeted their fundraising prowess -- In Education: UCLA Endowment Is Fastest-Growing Among Major U.S. Schools -- and on March 15, 2012, Bloomberg reported: The University of California, Los Angeles endowment has grown the fastest among U.S. colleges since 2008 as markets recovered and gifts from philanthropists such as casino mogul Kirk Kerkorian surged.
Well, Mr. Kerkorian and other donors, beware: once you're gone, UCLA might just overturn the terms of your bequest if they deem such a move in their financial interests, despite having legally agreed to abide by your wishes and intent. That's happening right now in the case of the Edward Carter bequest. And, he wasn't just any donor -- he was once chairman of the Board of Regents, and a Regent for 36 years…
Preservation of significant designed landscapes, as I've , is no easy matter, so any entity's pledge to maintain a nationally important work of landscape architecture "in perpetuity" is a victory. And the fact that the donor provided a mechanism to endow the garden is both prescient and critically important…
This unfortunate and unnecessary situation not only endangers an important garden, it reflects badly on UCLA's integrity and calls into question their commitment to bequest they have received, bequest they are negotiating, donation they have received and donation they hope to receive. Donors, are you listening?
Full article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-a-birnbaum/ucla-hannah-carter-japanese-garden_b_1468392.html
Forever is usually thought to be a long, long time: