George Mason University (GMU) is reputed as a conservative powerhouse in law and economics. This reputation has been brought about by the donations made by Charles Koch. Through his foundation, the Republican donates more than $20 million to various universities in the United States per year. However, the size of donations has been a cause of worry for many students, as they believe that it may affect academic independence.
Another Republican, Phil Knight, donated $400 million to Stanford University. Over the years, Koch and his brother have donated millions of dollars to different universities. In 2014, GMU received donations worth $16.8 million from Koch foundation. According to the Council for Aid in Education, GMU received $44.6 million in donations for the year ending 2013. In the recent past, Mason received a gift of $10 million from Koch Foundation in addition to $20 million from an unnamed donor.
The law school has been channeling most of the money to Mercatus Center. This center is a free-market think tank that undertakes research in order to educate the congressional staffers and federal regulators on issues that can influence government’s policies. Koch funds have also been going to the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS). This institute promotes libertarian philosophies. It is imperative to note that Koch industries’ executive vice president, Richard Fink, serves on Mercatus and IHS boards. It is for this reason that GMU and Kochs have longstanding connections.
Irrespective of criticisms from different quotas, some people believe that Koch is filling a funding gap. Some Democrats have not been comfortable with the donations but democratic senator, Chap Petersen, has no problem with the funding of GMU by the Kochs. Some students such as Colin Nackerman and Samantha Parsons have been spearheading campaigns demanding for an explanation from GMU about its relationship with Koch. This information was originally reported on Yahoo Finance.
Charles Koch is a successful businessman. He was born in Wichita, Kansas. The philanthropist pursued a degree in general engineering for his undergraduate studies. Later, he pursued nuclear and chemical engineering for his master’s degrees from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked at the Arthur D. Little, Koch Engineering Company and currently, Koch Industries.
Koch enhanced the Market-Based Management (MBM) philosophy. Koch managed to apply MBM concepts and practices throughout Koch Industries, thus the success of the corporation. Besides, scholars, government officials and various business leaders have been applying the MBM theories in their respective entities. Currently, Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch Industries and chairman of the board. The company has diversified its portfolio and expanded its operations to about 60 countries.