Newly released documents show that at George Mason University, the Charles Koch Foundation was given a say in hiring and firing professors, according to published reports.
The records were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by a group called “UnKoch My Campus,” which seeks to expose the influence of billionaire investors Charles and David Koch over colleges and universities.
What makes higher education a worthwhile investment for the Kochs, who are known for bankrolling conservative causes and Republican campaign vehicles?
Essentially, to inculcate the next generation with a philosophy like their own: As we’ve reported throughout this decade, education grants from the Koch brothers’ network of foundations routinely support academic programs or centers that teach theories and principles aligned with the Kochs’ convictions about economics and public policy.
READ MORE: Inside the Koch brothers' campus crusade
At the annual Koch confab in Dana Point, California, in 2014, a top lieutenant of Charles and David Koch told a crowd of supporters that political success begins with reaching young minds in college lecture halls, thereby preparing bright, libertarian-leaning students to one day occupy the halls of political power.
“The [Koch] network is fully integrated, so it’s not just work at the universities with the students, but it’s also building state-based capabilities and election capabilities and integrating this talent pipeline,” Kevin Gentry said at the event. “So you can see how this is useful to each other over time,” he continued. “No one else has this infrastructure. We’re very excited about doing it.”