How The Koch Brothers Corrupted Florida State University (+163 Other Colleges) (Young Turks)

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks

“In 2007, when the Charles Koch Foundation considered giving millions of dollars to Florida State University’s economics department, the offer came with strings attached.

First, the curriculum it funded must align with the libertarian, deregulatory economic philosophy of Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and Republican political bankroller.

Second, the Charles Koch Foundation would at least partially control which faculty members Florida State University hired.

And third, Bruce Benson, a prominent libertarian economic theorist and Florida State University economics department chairman, must stay on another three years as department chairman — even though he told his wife he’d step down in 2009 after one three-year term.”

Read more from The Center For Public Integrity report here: 2014/09/12/15495/ koch-foundation-proposal-college-teach-our-curriculum-get-millions

The Young Turks: “How The Koch Brothers Corrupted Florida State University (+163 Other Colleges)”

10 Responses

  1. This is a sad example of the corruption of our entire society by economic concentrations, and the need for constitutional controls to completely separate private money from education, the mass media, and elections. Without that separation, there is no hope for democracy.

  2. Tom Panelas

    @theyoungturks Benson himself represents a decline in standards. A dept chairman who doesn’t know the diff bet “rein” and “reign”?

  3. Toosinbeymen B.

    It’s being done by a lot of wealthy individuals and groups. When I worked at Yale, this was done in the open and under everyone’s noses. Many wealthy donors control which teachers are hired and often even monitor what they teach.
    I didn’t notice any liberal donors doing the same thing but it’s possible that they did.

  4. One of the most important aspects of democracy is transparency. Given the fact that the Republicans Justices have shredded the Constitution to allow big money to infect politics like a cancer, full transparency is the only defense left. That will require a much more committed and aggressive press than we now have in the US or more groups willing to do the work and take the information to the internet.

  5. Frankly, I think requiring that some of the professors be of libertarian bent is actually forcing a diversity of thought into the faculty and curriculum. If all the professors hold Keynesian views, where is the diversity and from where will students glean various philosophical insights to inspire critical thought , analysis and debate?
    Not such a bad idea, besides, any other agency, whether government block money grants or other donors (such as Rockefeller Foundation, etc.) do indicate parameters for the uses of their donations.
    The university is free to decline. Such is liberty.

    • Assuming that you are not joking, please note that it is the origin of teachings which determines their validity. Teachings must result from scholarly analysis and consensus, not coercion, because that is the source of truth. It would be specious argument that the buying of influence by a few might balance the opinion of many professors who disagree, because their views result from learning, not the influence of economic or political coercion.

      Please note also that universities are really not free to decline. They are guided by persons who may be more flexible than they should be, or more concerned with budgets than truth, or they may be ideologues at odds with the truth as seen by faculties. That is, the university as an instrument of truth is not free where there are incentives for distortion of the truth seeking process.

    • The 1% is 99% white. There’s no diversity in plutocracy that represents the rest of the human race.

      And the reason why the ’29 Crash was inevitable was that the rich controlled every respectable institution and critiques like Keynesianism were kept out of our minds. What makes you think that today’s ever-growing polarization of wealth will stop at some cozy diversity of views, instead of total mind control? Everything can be bought now.

  6. There is a story told of former President Lyndon Johnson that when he was a young teacher looking for a job in Texas he was asked if he believed the world was flat or round. He replied he could teach it either way.

    That was just one teacher reportedly following the money. Nowadays we have universities following the money and selling out on what higher education should be. This travesty is not limited to donors but to sports addicts who believe rapists, if they are highly talented athletes, should get away with their crimes and its okay to victimize the victims yet again.

  7. M K

    @Rock0040 U know some1 needs 2 do a comparison in #ALEC lessons plan & the lesson plans from Germany youths

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