First, I love Aggieland. I think President Cockett is as good as they get. BUT, this is a serious issue. Should a state university sell access to the minds of its students? Should it sell to donors a say on hiring of professors and staff or a say in textbook choices? Should a university use the status of its professors to lend credence to its donors business and political interests?
From 'Inside Higher Ed' Magazine
The [Koch] foundation has made sizable grants to a number of other colleges and universities — including six-, seven- and eight-figure gifts to such public institutions as Clemson University, George Mason University and Utah State University. SEE MORE
At Utah State University, the grant agreements gave the foundation a role in reviewing candidates for positions. A procedure that goes beyond norms of faculty hiring, which generally avoid any formal role for donors beyond designating an area of study. In other cases, the nature of the gifts has raised questions — with critics suggesting that the subject matter is so narrowly defined that it effectively embraces a political perspective, not a subject of study.
The Koch’s have extended influence to institutions of higher education, setting up grants at universities to hire professors that teach the Koch’s' anti-tax, anti-regulation business and political philosophies to mold young minds to fall in step with the Koch’s industrial wishes going forward through the 21st Century.
From Salt Lake Tribune
At Utah State Randy Simmons, was the Charles G. Koch professor of political economy at Utah State University, from 2008 to 2013 and a senior fellow at Property and Environment Research Center, which is funded by the Koch’s and Exxon Mobil.
Simmons also supervises a Koch-funded scholarship program and now he runs Strata Policy, which landed a large public relations contract for the Utah Legislature's efforts to wrest control of 31 million acres of public land from the federal government.