Big Brothers

Orwellian indeed.  Maybe Ayn Randers should be more inspired by Orwell's Animal Farm than by 1984.

Via Catherine Rampel we have Kris Hundley:
A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university.
A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University's economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting "political economy and free enterprise."
Traditionally, university donors have little official input into choosing the person who fills a chair they've funded. The power of university faculty and officials to choose professors without outside interference is considered a hallmark of academic freedom.
Under the agreement with the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, however, faculty only retain the illusion of control. The contract specifies that an advisory committee appointed by Koch decides which candidates should be considered. The foundation can also withdraw its funding if it's not happy with the faculty's choice or if the hires don't meet "objectives" set by Koch during annual evaluations.
David W. Rasmussen, dean of the College of Social Sciences, defended the deal, initiated by an FSU graduate working for Koch. During the first round of hiring in 2009, Koch rejected nearly 60 percent of the faculty's suggestions but ultimately agreed on two candidates. Although the deal was signed in 2008 with little public controversy, the issue revived last week when two FSU professors — one retired, one active — criticized the contract in the Tallahassee Democrat as an affront to academic freedom....
There was mention of UNC schools in some of this.  Despite the pronounced Libertarian influence here, I really hope NCSU doesn't have these kind of financial ties.

Comments

  1. Actually NCSU has a slightly less extreme version in terms of Pope funding of Pol.Sci. Ugly stories there. And the Quintiles funding at UNC was almost Koch-like and pretty scandalous. Details upon request.

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