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Students at Florida State University are telling Charles Koch to stop compromising academic integrity with multimillion dollar grants that come with strings attached. You may recall: back in 2011, two Florida State University (FSU) professors revealed that the Charles Koch Foundation was given inappropriate control over the professor hiring process in the economics department, where millions of dollars were granted from the Kansas billionaire.
Our university’s academic integrity has already been compromised from the influence of high-dollar donors like Koch, who managed to assume inappropriate control over our economics department’s curriculum and hiring process per an agreement signed in 2008. A new agreement with Koch, signed by both ex-President Barron and current Interim President Garnett Stokes, still contains many provisions from the original agreement that were explicitly rejected by the faculty senators who reviewed it.
The op-ed focuses on the departure of Eric Barron, who is transitioning into the president's office at Penn State University after serving as president of Florida State University. Beyond the well-documented concerns highlighted by FSU students and professors alike, FSU's Koch-funed economics department appears to host professors who are misrepresenting climate science, a field well outside of their credentialed expertise. Ph.D economist Yoram Bauman has twice reviewed and ranked economics textbooks for how accurately they portray climate change science. These same four professors, who aren't climate scientists yet authored the worst economics textbooks in regard to climate science misinformation, are affiliated with numerous Koch-funded climate denial organizations. All of these climate denial front groups are affiliated through a Koch-funded umbrella called the State Policy Network.
Florida State University students and faculty alike have good reason to ask hard questions about Charles Koch's grants to FSU.
It is directly contrary to the principles of academic freedom for Koch to walk in and fund departments that then impose a curriculum reflecting Charles Koch's business interests and political strategies. As students striving to live by the Florida State seal of Vires, Artes, and Mores — strength, skill, and character — we’d rather not surrender our character just to serve Charles Koch.
With FSU's outgoing president Eric Barron taking the helm at Penn State University, a good first step would be to ensure that Charles Koch's grants to Penn State aren't affecting the presentation of climate science or other critical topics to the student body. Greenpeace strives to support students who are questioning Koch's manipulation of education through high-dollar grants, especially in the realm of science. PolluterWatch is a project of Greenpeace that holds polluters accountable for the work they’re doing to block the transition from the dirty fossil fuels of the past to the clean energy sources of the future. The science is clear: We must take immediate action to avert the worst effects of global warming. I wanted to make sure you saw the alert Mark sent last week about the unprecedented influence right-wing billionaire Charles Koch has been granted over Florida State University’s Economics Department. Sign our petition to Florida State University President Eric Barron urging him to cancel this outrageous deal with the Kochs and protect academic freedom.

Dean David Rasmussen, who was instrumental in cutting the deal with Koch, in a recent opinion piece, cited budget cuts to universities over the past five years as necessitating the trade-off.
Florida State University, distinguished as a pre-eminent university in the state of Florida, is identified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as engaged in very high research activity, the highest status accorded to a doctoral-granting university.
Economics is the study of the ways in which individuals, households, companies, industries, governments, and nations allocate scarce resources among alternative uses and the resulting consequences of these decisions.
The Department of Economics at Cleveland State University offers a general undergraduate economics major and minor as well as an MA program in Economics. Three years later, the case still isn't closed on this corporate manipulation of university functions. Three years have passed since FSU professors exposed Koch’s financial grip over our school and a committee of faculty senators formally rejected several stipulations of the agreement.
Barron himself stated that the initial agreement “did provide the opportunity for outside influence” from Koch. Barron is being celebrated for his expertise in climate science as he cycles into his new position at Penn State (which also gets money from Charles Koch).
FSU's economics department has received much of the $3,898,657 itemized to FSU in the Charles Koch Foundation's tax filings from 2009 to 2012. Citing top climate science institutions like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Such affiliations include the Tallahassee-based James Madison Institute, The Heartland Institute, the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) and the Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE). Koch Industries' executives are well-known for dumping tens of millions of dollars into organizations that deny the science or the solutions to global climate change. Whether or not the Koch money caused or simply encourages such manipulated teaching doesn't matter--lying to students about science is wrong and its one of the key controversial things that KochWorld has a habit of funding.
Florida State University explicitly honors the principles of academic freedom in Koch's crosshairs. But polluters, their lobbyists, and the politicians who work with them are holding the climate debate hostage and poisoning the debate about policies that would lower our greenhouse gas emissions and kickstart a clean energy revolution. Nearly 7,000 concerned Floridians have signed the petition to FSU President Eric Barron demanding an end to this indefensible arrangement – learn more below or click here and help us get to 10,000.
Rasmussen falsely claims that the university retains control over hiring practices, but already during the first round of hiring after the agreement, Koch’s advisory board rejected 60% of the faculty’s candidate suggestions. For years, right wing billionaires like the Kochs have funded scores of front groups and think tanks to advance their radical agenda. Now they want to use the cover of a public university in an attempt to give their failed ideas more credibility with the public.

The wide-ranging scholarship of FSU faculty and graduate students is nationally and internationally recognized for its contributions to science, business, government, culture, and society.
Florida State's College of Business is home to an accounting department that offers students both undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees. Programs - Results from a survey conducted by AAA on Florida State University's Accounting Ph.D program. The choices and the consequences are evaluated in terms of performance criteria such as efficiency, stability, and economic growth.  The understanding and the objective evaluation of these choices and their consequences allow us to explore alternative forms of private and public organizations and their economic decisions that may further improve the long-run performance of those organizations and institutions. These web pages provide more detailed information about these programs, the faculty and the Department's research activities. Yet, it is clear that the administration refuses to act to appropriately limit outside influence on FSU’s educational operations. These professors are closely affiliated with groups created and directly overseen by the Koch brothers, like the Cato Institute in Washington, DC and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Now it appears that Koch-funded professors may be an extension of the same political campaign. Barron must know how much is at stake when conversations regarding climate change are polluted executives at companies like Koch Industries, which profit from oil and gas operations. University budget cuts are no excuse to subvert academic freedom by giving wealthy benefactors influence over the hiring of professors. Florida State's accounting program is well respected and is ranked by the Public Accounting Record.
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Bauman has repeatedly given a failing grade to a widely-used textbook authored by professors from several of the top Koch-funded schools across the country, including FSU. Florida State’s preposterous arrangement with Charles Koch opens the door to a slippery slope of pay-to-play control over our universities and should not go unchallenged.

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