Charles Koch gave $25m to our university. Has it become a rightwing mouthpiece?
We are student journalists at Utah State University. Our investigation found an effort to inject universities with conservative thinking
At first, Angel Lopez felt honored to have won the scholarship.
In 2017, the marketing student at Utah State Universitys business school was named a Koch Scholar, a program sponsored by Charles Koch, the ultra-conservative billionaire. Fifteen students are given a $1,000 stipend and selected to participate in the reading group, tasked with reading one book a week.
But Lopez, 23, the son of Latino immigrants who aspired to become a social worker, soon felt the program was promoting a hardline brand of rightwing politics. His required readings, with titles such as Order Without Law and Anarchy Unbound, could often be boiled down to a single idea: Government is bad.
Critics say the Koch Scholars program is one example of how Charles Koch has sought to transform the Utah State business school into a libertarian mouthpiece. Over the last 10 years Koch has given millions to the university, including a $25m gift in 2017 that led to the creation of a thinktank: the Center for Growth and Opportunity.
He ispursuing similar policies at schools nationwide, in what Koch officials themselves describe as a concerted effort to influence the next generation of political and business minds. Our funding helps [scholars] follow their research wherever it may lead, the foundation says in public materials. We are committed to the highest standards of philanthropy.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/02/charles-koch-gave-25m-to-our-university-has-it-become-a-rightwing-mouthpiece
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