The leftists who control higher education never care about the tens of billions of dollars in donations that seek to specifically support progressive, social justice causes on campuses. But they lose their collective minds when two libertarian brothers throw a few million dollars toward free market research at universities.
That hypocrisy is spelled out in an op-ed by F.H. Buckley, a professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University, who notes that while the Koch foundation* gives $60 million a year to academia, “total US charitable giving to higher ed tops $40 billion a year. Koch support amounts to only 0.0015 percent of total annual giving.”
Where do most of the donations go? Toward liberal causes. But the left is solely focused on the Koch foundation, an outrage machine actually funded by the same liberal donors bankrolling left-wing programs in academia, Buckley writes:
Koch support is dwarfed by gifts from institutions with a pronounced liberal agenda, notably the Ford Foundation, whose annual giving to higher ed is almost 10 times that of the Koch Foundation, according to InfluenceWatch.org. Ford was instrumental in creating many schools’ women’s-studies programs, and with its gifts to law schools, Ford helped lay the groundwork for welfare rights and the defense of racial preferences in admissions.
Liberal donors have taken their support for liberal causes one step further with the rise of advocacy philanthropy, in which grants to universities are meant to influence government action, policy and legislation, and to produce a cadre of student activists and community organizers. In particular, grants for “civic engagement” seek to enlist students in progressive causes in return for college credits and stipends.
What used to be taught as civics is often now a training school for activists on de-carbonizing the economy, intensifying identity group grievances and transforming America from an unjust, oppressive society to one that embodies social justice.
Liberal donors are free to give where they want, and nobody seems to care. What’s shameless, however, is that the same liberal donors that fund left-wing programs in academia also fund the “UnKoch My Campus” protests that urge colleges to turn down Koch support. UnKoch says that it’s simply worried about the influence of wealthy donors on American higher education, but that’s only when they’re conservative. Apparently, liberals think they have property rights in higher ed.