Casey Quinlan | ThinkProgress | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2016
conomic freedom centers” — or institutes with conservative, libertarian missions that are backed by the Charles Koch Foundation — are tightly controlled by the interests of the conservative foundation, according to remarks from Koch-backed professors and executives at the Association of Private Enterprise Education’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.
The remarks were recorded by UnKoch My Campus, a group that focuses on the influence of powerful donors on research and coursework in universities, and shared by Greenpeace staff. At the event, Koch-backed professors and Charles Koch Foundation executives said that students act as “foot soldiers” for free enterprise ideals, deans will take money from anyone, and the slightest mention of the foundation’s legal team can bring universities back in line.
Koch-backed institutes made their way back into the news lately after recent reports that $5 million was earmarked for these centers at Arizona public universities. The American Association of University Professors is also unhappy about George Mason University’s relationship with Koch-backed academics. AAUP Associate Secretary Anita Levy recently sent a letter to the president of George Mason University and the chair of State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to express concern over renaming GMU’s law school the “Antonin Scalia Law School” after having received $30 million from the Charles Koch Foundation and an anonymous donor. GMU has received a lot of money from the Kochs over the years. Between 2011-2014, the university received almost $48 million from the Koch Foundation, according to the Associated Press.