On October 24, GMU faculty and students will be hosting an event called Understanding Donor Influence at GMU: An Evening with UnKoch My Campus. This lecture will use a case study of the Charles Koch Foundation to identify the ways in which donors are bypassing shared governance, violating academic freedom, and placing inappropriately restrictive conditions over the use of their funds in order to buy undue influence over academia. Click here for details and to RSVP: http://bit.ly/GMUdonors
To: George Mason University Foundation
Tell George Mason To Comply with VA Law & Make Donor Agreements Public!
Comply with Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act and make your agreements with private donors available to the public.
Why is this important?
GMU’s largest donor, the Charles Koch Foundation, has entered into grant agreements with other universities and non-profits in exchange for influence over hiring, research and curricular decisions. We believe transparency of George Mason's relations with private donors is of the utmost importance. The agenda of private donors should not take precedence over service to the public.
The Charles Koch Foundation and its donors have ties to ALEC, the shadowy right-wing organization responsible for writing model legislation designed to attack Black communities like voter ID and Stand Your Ground laws. They have also contributed to Americans For Prosperity which has undertaken voter suppression efforts designed to attack Black communities' freedom to vote by running disinformation campaigns in states like North Carolina. While doing so they also have funded scholarships to Black organizations which require paternalistic directions stipulating students must study under only professors they approve.
As students concerned for the integrity of our university with concern about this pattern of attack and control, we demand to you make your grant and gift agreements with private donors transparent! George Mason University is a public university dedicated to public service and that means we must know what agreements are made with donors that have a clear desire to influence the bounds and rights of the public. That one of the largest university donors has funded organizations that have actively worked to erode the rights of Black people while being shielded from scrutiny by George Mason University is disturbing. We demand transparency!
How it will be delivered