National Campaign: Private Donor Whack-a-Mole

UnKoch My Campus is dedicated to expose and expel undue donor influence from institutions of higher education, as exemplified by the Charles Koch Foundation.

To this day, these have included: violations of academic freedom, outside interference in faculty governance, violations of donor policy, conflicts of interest, misinformation, and anti-transparency. 

Our research often aims to determine:

  • what donations and programming from Koch's network are present at a given campus

  • whether excessive donor influence appears to have been granted over programming or hiring, i.e. strings attached

  • whether such influence constitutes a violation of academic principles, or the specific policies and procedures of the university

Our work involves engaging these questions with individuals, organizations, and media in the university community, particularly undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. 

Agreements with the Koch foundation have often been made behind closed doors, excluding campus stakeholders from any role in the decision. 

Since academic programming with ties to the Koch network is popping up all around the country, it is not enough to oppose specific contracts on isolated campuses. The preservation of academic integrity will require protections to be put in place on the campus level to guard against undue donor influence.

It will require not just vigilance, but an elevated role of students and faculty pushing back against administrators who would sell curricular control to private interests. 

UnKoch My Campus is dedicated to exposing and disrupting the misuse of the education system for private political purposes.

For more information than you could ever want to know, please take a look at our UnKoch Toolkit for Students and Faculty, and feel free to drop us a line.