The Koch brothers’ ongoing mission to transform public universities into propaganda centers for their “free enterprise” ideology is getting a boost from Arizona GOP lawmakers. Arizona Republicans are proposing spending $5 million of taxpayer money to supplement the millions the Kochs have spent to establish programs which reflect their views at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
The Kochs have a long history of using their fortune to influence higher education programs. While claiming that their grants come without conditions, John Hardin, director of university relations for the Charles Koch Foundation, clarified that the programs receiving funding are expected to, “pursue questions about freedom and prosperity.”
The Kochs’ spending at state universities is not altruistic. As pointed out by David N. Gibbs, professor of history at University of Arizona, “The question would be, ‘Why would they be funding it unless they want some sort of ideological payoff?‘” The Kochs are transparently attempting to indoctrinate students at public universities with an extreme libertarian agenda.
Koch-control of higher education is now extending beyond personal contributions; as they succeed in placing subservient legislators in office, these grateful recipients of Koch-cash loyally funnel taxpayer dollars into the Kochs’ academic programs. Arizona Republicans attempt to indoctrinate students at public universities comes with a hefty price tag: The $5 million proposed to support Koch efforts represents a significant portion of the $13 million dollars earmarked for spending at Arizona’s three public universities.