5. bypassing Transparency and dissent

A. Anti-transparency Provisions

As with the rest of their political operation, the Koch foundation's academic programs are held very closely under considerable secrecy. Often there are anti-transparency clauses built into the donor agreements. 

 

EXAMPLES

At Florida State University, the 2008 MOU requires that “FSU will allow CGK Foundation to review and approve the text of any proposed publicity which includes mention of the CGK Foundation” (2008 MOU, Sec 14). In addition, the MOU establishes a confidentiality clause:

To the extent permitted by Florida law, FSU will not use, disseminate or any Way disclose confidential information obtained by or provided to FSU by CGK Foundation or a “disqualified person” as that term is defined under Section 4946(a)(1) of the Code. For purposes of this Section, confidential information will include all information reasonably considered by the Parties to be confidential to one another including but not limited to research, financial strategies, correspondence, minutes, intellectual property, programs and other similar information. Notwithstanding the above, confidential information will not include such information the CGK Foundation is required to make available for public inspection including a copy of its annual returns (Forms 990), its exemption application (Form 1023) and any documents issued by the IRS concerning the application. (2008 MOU, Sec 15)

At Utah State University, the agreement with the Charles Koch Foundation required that the university “allow CGK Foundation to review and approve the text of any proposed publicity that includes mention of CGK Foundation or the Funding Amount..

Additionally, the agreements’ “Confidentiality” section stipulates “USU will not use, disseminate or any way disclose confidential information obtained by or provided to USU by CGK Foundation [...]. (USU 2008 MOU, Section 13)

At West Virginia University, the agreement with the Charles Koch Foundation required that the university “allow CGK Foundation to review and approve the text of any proposed publicity which includes or mentions of CGK Foundation or the amount to be contributed pursuant to this Agreement." (WVU 2009 MOU, Section V).

At Clemson University, the agreement with the Charles Koch Foundation required that the university “allow CGK Foundation to review and approve the text of any proposed publicity that includes mention of CGK Foundation or the Funding Amount (Clemson 2009 MOU, Section VI.D).

The Koch foundation required the university avoid as much transparency as possible, requiring:

To the extent permitted by South Carolina law, University will not use, disseminate or any way disclose confidential information obtained by or provided to University by CGK Foundation. [...] For purposes of this Section, confidential information will include all information reasonable considered by the Parties to be confidential to one another including but not limited to research, financial strategies, correspondence, minutes, intellectual property, programs and other similar information. (Clemson 2009 MOU, Section VI.E)

At the University of Louisville, the 2015 MOU requires substantial confidentiality:

The Foundation and the University agree to keep confidential and not to disclose to any third party the existence of or contents of this Agreement without express written approval from the Donor, except as otherwise may be required by law. The Parties acknowledge that the University must adhere to the open records laws that exist for public institutions in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. If the Foundation or the University is required to disclose the existence of or the content of this Agreement to any third party, the Foundation and the University agree to provide the Donor with at least ten (10) days' advance written notice of such disclosure, except as otherwise may be required by law. (UL 2015 MOU, Section 8.b)