“There’s really no choice,” a university dean told me. “We’ve got to go where the money is.”
And more than at any time since the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century, the money is now in the pockets of big corporations and the super wealthy.
So the presidents of universities, congregations, and think tanks, other nonprofits are now kissing wealthy posteriors as never before.
But that money often comes with strings.
When Comcast, for example, finances a nonprofit like the International Center for Law and Economics, the Center supports Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner.
When the Charles Koch Foundation pledges $1.5 million to Florida State University’s economics department, it stipulates that a Koch-appointed advisory committee will select professors and undertake annual evaluations.
The Koch brothers now fund 350 programs at over 250 colleges and universities across America. You can bet that funding doesn’t underwrite research on inequality and environmental justice.