Help Support UnKoch My Campus
And Get Involved
Since 2014, UnKoch My Campus has been instrumental in exposing how the Charles Koch Foundation’s campus philanthropy plays a critical role in their political agenda.
Since then, our work has grown exponentially, facilitating many incredible victories, and has even garnered the attention of Charles Koch himself.
You can make sure this work continues by spreading the word about this campaign and making a tax-deductible donation to the campaign itself!
Koch and the Academy
In rare interview, charles Koch can't stop talking about us!
Charles, audibly irate, shouts "Bring 'em on!"
Charles Koch leads a network of the nation’s wealthiest interests, many of whom of formed the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.
The Charles Koch Foundation utilizes an “integrated strategy” known as the “Structure of Social Change,” that involves the targeted funding universities, think tanks, and political efforts in order to achieve their policy objectives - objectives that benefit Koch Industries and the interests of the other Freedom Partners.
Within universities, the Kochs have violated academic freedom and shared governance to facilitate their own business and political goals.
At Florida State University, students have been battling administration since 2011 over Koch’s influence, which has included: veto power over hiring, the right to withdraw support for curricular/extra-curricular programs with as little as 15 days notice, and an annual donor review to approve or deny renewal of funds for any part of the program.
At Auburn University, a Koch center established under Dr. Robert Lawson was found to have been the result of a foregone hiring process that took place without faculty knowledge, largely outside of Auburn’s hiring procedures.
Administrators at the University of Kentucky are disregarding two consecutive faculty votes that rejected the governance aspects of a new Koch center. UnKoch provided key research to faculty prior to both votes.
At Western Carolina University, faculty and administrators were misled about a new Koch center after Dr. Ed Lopez’s “campus version” of the proposal omitted key deliverables he promised to the Koch Foundation.
Despite a faculty vote against it, administrators approved the center.
UnKoch has been instrumental in providing research to faculty, who are continuing to take active measures to monitor the center and prevent donor controls.
Please support our work in 2017, as the Koch network accelerates its creation of free-market campus centers.
Resistance to Corporate Influence
These instances demonstrate an incredible abuse of power by the Kochs within our nation’s universities, institutions that are meant to be the pillars of objectivity. UnKoch My Campus’ mission is to identify these violations, expose them; to arm universities with the tools to resist, and solutions to prevent, any future attempts by the Koch Foundation to buy influence on their campuses.
Currently, UnKoch is supporting students, faculty and alumni on nearly two dozen campuses who are calling for donor agreements to be made transparent and for university policies to be strengthened as to prevent ANY donor from being able to violate principles of academic freedom or shared governance.
Although Koch’s strategy has been in play for decades, our small campaign has been making significant progress since 2014, raising national awareness while providing support and research to affected campus communities.
When students at the University of Kansas (KU) submitted records requests to learn more about KU’s Center for Applied Economics, Koch Industries funded a lawsuit to prevent documents from being released. The KU student went to court with the professor and eventually settled for several of the requested files.
At George Mason University, students and faculty have received national coverage advocating for the transparency of university grant agreements. Members of the university’s faculty senate are seeking the creation of a policy intended to address institutional conflicts of interest that accompany corporate donations.
In 2016, UnKoch researchers attended a conference for Koch funded academics. Our recordings provided new insight into how the Koch academic network operates. These recordings are now a critical part of the research provided to campus communities as they work to limit Koch’s influence.
One recording of a Troy University professor resulted in him being stripped of his appointment as department chair. His remarks revealed how the center engaged in political fights (including “taking down the state pension system”) and how Koch’s money allowed them to “take over” two departments.
Our work is unraveling Koch’s network of corporate-funded professors, but we need your help to maintain our efforts in 2017.
Continuing the Fight
We have recently been reminded that we will have even more work cut out for us in 2017. Despite past tensions between the Koch network and the Trump campaign, Trump’s election is a resounding win for Koch’s political agenda.
With the selection of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, the Trump administration has handed the Department of Education to Charles Koch and his Freedom Partners.
Two generations of the DeVos family have been active in Koch’s political activities, making them intimately familiar with Koch’s “integrated strategy” and role of universities in Koch’s political activities.
The Kochs have been investing in long-term change.
UnKoch My Campus has been providing vital research and organizing support to students, faculty and alumni on the frontlines of this fight, who are determined to expose the influence of private donors and develop policies to protect the academy in the future.
November 29, 2016
Samantha Parsons and Ralph Wilson