Friday, May 13, 2011

Koch Brothers buy our colleges and universities

The union-busting billionaire Koch brothers don’t just own governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker. Their tentacles are also reaching into America’s system of higher education. Academic freedom is under attack within institutions like Brown University, George Mason University, Florida State University and dozens of other well-known public and private colleges and universities around the country that are accepting dirty Koch money.

ThinkProgress reports the Kochs have paid as much as $3.6 million to schools like Troy University in Alabama to create a Koch capitalist brainwashing facility Center for Political Economy. The brothers have also given $1.5 million in grants to Florida State University to shape the academic curriculum there. This “donation” was given on the condition that Koch operatives would have a hand in selecting professors and approving publications. At Brown, the Koch brothers underwrote research projects, including a paper that argued bank deregulation has helped the poor.

Just as disturbing is the $700,000 they gave to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, which went to hiring new faculty members and establishing a Koch-friendly management program, presumably the breeding ground for union busters of the future. The school’s Koch Scholars website describes the program:
Koch Scholars are generously supported by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation whose mission is “to advance social progress and well-being through the development, application and dissemination of the Science of Liberty.”
Students who do not have the opportunity to attend a Koch-purchased institution of higher education can apply to the Koch Associate Program in Arlington, Va. It’s there that they’ll learn to throw around vague terms like the “science of liberty,” in the hopes that maybe, just maybe one day they'll become as rich and evil as their mentors.