44 Comments

With KKKoch funding, the RNC has become a crime syndicate intent upon gaining power AT ANY COST. Charles Koch and McConnell shepherded that farce, “Citizens United” through the Supreme Court. They use the NRA to launder money from foreign enemies, like Russia. Can you imagine the evil behind men who would use billions for political subterfuge, rather than addressing, say, climate change or emerging viruses or--god forbid--world peace ? The fascists are at the gates . . . To understand RNC “trickle down” philosophy, read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine.” To understand Charles KKKoch and his ilk, read Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money” or Nancy MacLean’s book, “Democracy in Chains.”

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Wow. Great reporting and lots to unpack here. Do the professors have any legal recourse, as a lawsuit could shine additional light on this? Is there a list of the various colleges that are accepting the Koch donations? I’m in the process of helping our daughter narrow down colleges. Bet there are many like me who want to know so we can avoid having our tuition dollars support this. And, finally, love how they use the pandemic (that liberal “hoax”) to help justify this “cost cutting” of tenured positions.

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George Mason U in northern Virginia is a Koch-funded school.

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Yes, a well-done story. I'm in touch with profs at ESU, who are getting support from AFT (now affiliating with AAUP) in organizing faculty there. Forming a union, especially a strong, grassroots one, is a lot more effective than lawsuits. All higher-ed faculty (and everyone else) should have organized yesterday. We have similar problems with right-wing authoritarians here in Florida (Ron DeSantis and others), but at least the K-12 teachers and higher ed faculty are better organized than in a lot of other places. For info on Koch influence on higher ed, see "Unkoch My Campus." http://www.unkochmycampus.org/ Except for a few mostly private colleges, Koch influence is so far confined to individual departments and institutes, but it's growing. Glad you'll be asking questions to help your daughter get a real education.

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it strikes me as the height of hypocrisy that lifetime tenure is fine for federal judges and justices, regardless of how radical their views, but not acceptable for college professors. I remember being chilled when I read Dark Money, and the Koch influence continues. The ultimate example of who has power in our country.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Precisely. I too read Dark Money and although I could already see the tendrils of influence wielded by the Kochs, my vision became even clearer once armed with deeper knowledge of the their perfidy.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

The Koch family investments made over the last 20+ years are really beginning to pay off for them. It's like that old trope about the frog in the pot. Funny how they talk of not wanting to be controlled by a "woke" agenda, as they build the gallows from which to hang us all. I guess that is fairness if one looks at it properly, but it is a "fairness" any intelligent and empathic person would eschew!

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Great highlighting of the urgent need for families to be vigilant of their college selections, especially when considering lesser-known schools heavily funded by a few donors. Egregious firings of tenured faculty are something to pay attention to as are donors with such stilted aims. Universities are not technical schools. While students may specialise early on, the point is to ensure some broadening of exposure across disciplines and views to enlarge perspective, not shrink it and this comes with a diverse, capable faculty not beholden to one donor’s mandates.

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Ben Sasse, soon to be former Senator of Nebraska, is going to the University of Florida. Ben Sasse was hand-picked by Charles KKKoch

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The continued thrashing of American freedoms, buy the Koch Industry zealots.

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The Koch whores have been at this for years. They were early at Mason University. I guess that when you have no morals and too much money you can buy higher education and turn it into a church, because religious, closed, truncated colleges are what we will end up with.

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Reminds me of the Middle Ages when Galileo was harried with the Church’s Inquisition . . .

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

Reading this story, all of a sudden I realized I was taking for granted the fact that in 2022 America, yet another individual, yet another family, is so rich, has so much more money than it needs for its own well-being—what a system we have.

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Thank you for shining the light on what’s been the most horrible, no-good semester in ESU’s history. Money and power corrupts. Until those who love democracy find our voices and use them, this corruption will overtake American higher ed.

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Good reporting for the week before Halloween. Scary times for a dystopian future, except it is happening.

Mind control is a horror story already happening ie like Fox News Mothers for Liberty etc and this furthers into the educated sector of young minds.

Koch and the ilk be damned.

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If there is a hell, they will SURELY burn!

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Sounds [to me] like these tenured educators need a union to codify their rights so they can’t be terminated arbitrarily.

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And they're organizing one now (hopefully statewide) with AFT, though it's a bit late. The message is clear: If tenured professors can be fired for the vaguest of reasons, everyone needs to start organizing now! Most Americans approve of unions and would join if we could, but the laws (strongly influenced by big banks and corporations) make organizing very difficult; that's why only 10% of workers are organized even though they want a union. To preserve our basic rights we need to rebuild the labor movement!

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Ah, yes, nothing inspires confidence in a university among students and professors alike like massive turnover of tenured faculty under a new president. I honestly had never heard of ESU, but if they were looking to bolster sagging enrollment, ahem, this is a questionable tactic.

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Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

The MAGAT's will flock there and make up the difference! /s

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The “Robber Baron Days” are surely upon us. We will function and to some degree currently function to support them to the detriment of our world and our children. The reason that the Republican Party does as well as it does despite hyping terrible ideas is because of their full blown embrace of these despicable people. They are even supporting and grooming their minions at the local level. I am not sure what we can do except keep speaking out. I appreciate this reporting, Judd!

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Another way to keep speaking out is to post a link to this story on ESU's Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/emporiastateuniversity

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Like the faculty at ESU, we need to start organizing, not just speaking out.

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Too true: Strength in numbers!

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I spent 15 years in medical publishing selling educational materials to: public, non-profit colleges and universities; private, non-profit colleges and universities; and to FOR-PROFIT colleges and universities.

The latter, many of which are/were large publicly-traded corporations, operate on a relatively simple business model. Butts in seats. Charge tuition, and have students take out federal student loans to pay for it. Cut costs at every corner except marketing. Hire the lowest “qualified” individuals to teach and pay them as little as possible.

“Qualified” in the vast majority of teaching positions, consists of former professionals in their field, with no teaching experience. There is no tenure. There is massive turnover because many instructors learn they don’t like teaching and go back to their profession.

There is a common curriculum across all of that company’s locations that instructors cannot deviate from.

So, what are some of the results of that system?

Corinthian Schools filed for bankruptcy protection and left 560,000 students without degrees/certificates--but with student loan debt--in limbo with $5.8 billion in student loans that taxpayers paid for as announced on June 22, 2022.

DeVry Colleges: bankrupt 35,000 students

ITT: bankrupt: 85,000 students

There is a clear reason why the free-market is problematic in higher education. Greed.

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founding

Important to publicize which schools have bankrupted students while profiting. Is Phoenix U. one of them? I heard that they were culpable about 10 years ago, and have been amazed at all of their TV ads (some of which appeared during the "Colbert Report"!).

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Good work!

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Koch is a demon. He's an evil man. Imagine having all the money that he has and all the good that he could potentially do for the world. Instead he spends it on stifling free speech and electing more far right yahoo's into government. He is the worst of us.

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I Recommend the Koch’s change the name of ESU to technical Institutes, rather than universities due to their very limited scope of information that will be shared from engineers and salesmen

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