Sunday, March 06, 2011

Koch Brothers Buy Economics Departments for Gulf Coast and Florida State University

Really Florida State?

Charles Koch, the billionaire rightwing libertarian, bought hiring rights for Florida State University's Economics Department for a pawltry 1.5 million dollars. Since the guy makes 3 million an hour in investments, you'd think FSU would have sold out for at least an hour of his time.

The contract specifies that an advisory committee appointed by Koch decides which candidates should be considered. The foundation can also withdraw its funding if it’s not happy with the faculty’s choice or if the hires don’t meet “objectives” set by Koch during annual evaluations.

et tu, FCGU

Grants from Koch also supported the "ideological transformation" at the Economics Dept. at Gulf Coast University:

At Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, every student who majors in economics and finance gets a copy of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged…FGCU now has a core group of a half dozen economists whose research supports the ideas of free-market capitalism, still an unpopular subject in most faculty lounges. They teach this material to more than 250 economics and finance students (one class is titled “The Moral Foundations of Capitalism”), organize lectures by leading thinkers, publish their research in well-respected journals and hold influential positions in groups that promote free markets.

Yale University was at least offered 20 million, but they turned it down because they proclaimed no one should dictate hiring or curricula. But that's why Florida has no ivy leagues.

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