Protect FSU from the Charles Koch Foundation's undue influence by adopting the recommendations in student report.
After years of national controversy over Florida State University’s relationship with the Charles Koch Foundation, students have discovered new evidence that the agreements were far worse than publicly known, and that Florida State University is about to make matters still worse.
In a report released less than a week before FSU is scheduled to revise its donor policy, we present new findings that:
- Current donor policy is too weak to adequately protect from donor influence, and the administration is proposing changes that would weaken the policy further.
- Agreements between FSU and Koch currently violate many provisions of university donor policy. This includes allowing Koch to control funding after it has been given, as well as the apparent miscategorization of Koch's revocable "gift" as a charitable donation. Koch retains the right to withhold funding at any time if they become dissatisfied with the direction of scholarly activity.
- There is a startling lack of effective university oversight over the FSU Foundation. The President of the FSU Foundation, Dr. Tom Jennings, is among those who wrongfully signed the 2013 Koch agreement. Yet FSU’s Vice President for Advancement, the university official responsible for overseeing Dr. Jennings and the FSU Foundation, is a position held by the same Dr. Tom Jennings.
- A heavily censored 2011 faculty senate report originally detailed a campaign of threats, intimidation, and overt violations of academic policy and ethics policy.
Our report includes recommendations to fix policy and governance weaknesses, and to increase transparency through disclosing the terms of agreements . Please help us call on FSU to protect faculty and students from donor influence.
FSU’s inadequate donor policy contributed to the Charles Koch Foundation violating academic freedom and governance policy. This gift policy, if appropriately enforced, is the only policy that can protect the university from donor influence. We need you to join us in calling for a stronger and more transparent FSU.
- FSU Vice President for Advancement,
Dr. Tom Jennings
- FSU General Counsel
DESPITE REVISIONS PROPOSED BY FSU ON JUNE 4th,
I am submitting public comment on FSU's Gift Acceptance and Counting Policy. I write in support of IMPLEMENTING ALL RECOMMENDATIONS submitted by FSU Progress Coalition in their review of the Charles Koch Foundation agreement and FSU Gift Policy (bit.ly/1SGJu36).
The student report identifies critical weaknesses in FSU Foundation policy and governance, as well as several donor policy provisions that have been clearly violated by the agreements between FSU and the Charles Koch Foundation. The student claims are further supported by documents retrieved through public records requests. The report exposes threats and intimidation of faculty and gross violations of academic policy that have been inexplicably omitted from official university accounts.
The evidence shows that, in an absence of effective university oversight, this already inadequate policy is going unenforced. I call on you to adopt the recommendations and proposed changes as laid out in Chapter 6 of the student report.
Thank you for your consideration.
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