My Saturday schedule had three nice entries on it: ‘Godfather’ class at St. Paul’s for my nephew CJ, a reception for Rod Smith later in the day and squeezed in between that was a luncheon at Innisbrook starring Florida State University football coach Jimbo Fischer. But after reading so much about the controversial deal between FSU and the Tea Partying Koch Brothers, I am going to skip today’s luncheon out of protest. This decision was made easier after reading a story in today’s St. Petersburg Times about how internal FSU e-mails show academic officers were concerned with Koch’s control over financial gift.
Most troubling to FSU’s provost, whose office had to sign off on the contract, were terms that allowed Koch to stop funding the program if faculty hired with its money were not complying with its goals. Traditionally, gifts to universities come with few strings attached and are irrevocable, meaning they can’t be withdrawn.
Reiterating the provost’s concerns, Bradley worried that Koch’s control over funding would give it a “disproportionate influence” in the economics department, where it would be paying for two tenure-track positions as well as graduate student fellowships.
“Does it compromise the academic freedom of individuals holding professorships under the agreement indirectly through the evaluation process and the prospective cessation of funds?” Bradley asked in an e-mail to Rasmussen.
Referring to Koch’s right to pick graduate fellows paid through the foundation, Bradley wanted “to eliminate the perception that FSU has surrendered its autonomy on such matters.”
I’ll be writing more about this later, but for right now, I just can’t bear to wear Garnet & Gold.