A new report from the Center for Public Integrity reveals the motivation behind the billionaire Koch brothers’ big “philanthropic” investments in higher education across the country: advancing their political agenda.
During 2013, a pair of private charitable foundations Charles Koch leads and personally bankrolls combined to spread more than $19.3 million across 210 college campuses in 46 states and the District of Columbia, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax filings.
The Kochs’ giving, however, has a laser-like focus on a specific, politically relevant discipline — free market economics — unmatched by other political mega-donors. Koch officials routinely cultivate relationships with professors and deans and fund specific courses of economic study pitched by them.
But it’s clear where there is an ideological bent to their giving: Tax returns, as well as emails and private documents exchanged among Charles Koch Foundation officers and various college and university officials, indicate the foundation’s commitment to funding academics is deep and growing. Koch education funding, which is almost singularly focused on economics, also sometimes comes with certain strings attached.
The Center for Public Integrity dives into how through their “charitable foundation network” the Kochs are pouring millions into universities nationwide to build their “talent pipeline” and push their political agenda. But the Koch cash comes with atypical strings attached including hiring approval, restrictions on teachings that “must align with the libertarian economic philosophy of Charles Koch,” access to students’ personal email addresses, and more.
Much like their investments into GOP candidates and causes, the Kochs’ investments into higher education are motivated by advancing their self-enriching political agenda.
Read the full report below:
Center for Public Integrity: Koch brothers’ higher-ed investments advance political goals