Today my high school daughter received an invitation by mail to attend The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University for six days this June. I thought, hmmm, isn't GMU known for its Koch funded think tanks? Yep, checked with Desmogblog:
Koch and George Mason University
Funding and Connections
Since 1985, George Mason University (GMU), and its associated institutes and centers, has received more funding from the Koch Family Charitable Foundations than any other organization--a total of $29,604,354. The George Mason University Foundation has received the most funding, $20,297,143, while the Institute for Humane Studies has been directly given $3,111,457, the Mercatus Center $1,442,000, and George Mason University itself has received $4,753,754.
The three page invitation from GMU has vague descriptive adjectives of the Summer Institute and of GMU, but no set itinerary of summer classes, educational goals , or who will be instructors. GMU is described as setting the gold standard, having a dynamic culture, and having teaching excellence. Students will also have "access to the most sought after internships and employers in the country."
The "curriculum" listed for the Summer Youth Institute states: "Students attending the Summit are guided and mentored by GMU resident faculty who are esteemed professors in environmental sciences, conservation and policy." Personally I am not familiar with GMU, but a comment on one of the articles on GMU and the Kochs hinted that few liberal professors are left at GMU, if any. The other detail under curriculum lists only three speakers the Summit has had speak in the past, two are soon to be resigning Obama officials, Nancy Sutley of CEQ and Dr. Marcia McNutt of USGS. But on the other hand, Charles Koch has a history of running "mentorships" through GMU. Reading the descriptions of the Koch's past history of running internships through GMU, I can only highly suspect that the Youth Summit at George Mason University will be more an attempt at indoctrination in libertarian views than truely educational and enlightening.
No, my daughter will not be attending the Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University this summer.
The Institute for Humane Studies
The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) was founded by F.A. Harper in 1961 and has been associated with George Mason University since 1985....
According to SourceWatch, the IHS acts as "a libertarian talent scout, identifying, developing, and supporting the brightest young libertarians it can find who are intent on a leveraged scholarly, or intellectual, career path." In addition to the funding it receives from the Koch Family Foundations, the Institute for Humane Studies also receives donations from conservative foundations such as the Carthage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
Charles Koch is the chairman of the Institute for Humane Studies. Every year the IHS hosts the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program which offers an internship in public policy. The internship is a ten-week program that includes an opening seminar, the internship, and a closing seminar. The opening seminar involves lectures on public policy analysis, classical liberalism, and "persuasive communication."
The internship entails working at a public policy think tank, either at the state or national level. Placement organizations include the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center, the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the Institute for Justice. Policy interns may tackle a number of issues including environmental policy.
The Institute for Humane Studies also offers a journalism internship for which it seeks "writers for liberty." No formal training in journalism is required and the internship offers a choice of three program areas: investigative, print, and broadcast.
The internship starts with a week-long seminar on journalism and free society, followed by a placement at different locations. Previous placements for print journalist interns have included the Pittsburgh-Tribune--owned by Richard Scaife, who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the conservative movement in the U.S. Placements for interns in broadcast journalism have included FOX News
Also along this theme of GMU and political bias, the Washington Post also had a piece yesterday on how the GMU overseeing board is heavily Republican:
Study: George Mason Board of Visitors members donated heavily to RepublicansAdditional Desmogblog info:
BY TOM JACKMAN
January 9 at 5:00 am
Each of the public universities in Virginia is overseen by a Board of Visitors, which hires the university president and sets school policy. The governor appoints the members of the board to four-year terms, so perhaps it’s not too surprising that the current 16 members at George Mason University in Fairfax, appointed by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, donated almost $469,000 to Republican political candidates in the last four years, and slightly less than $9,500 to Democratic candidates, a new report in George Mason’s Fourth Estate student publication shows.
In addition to financial ties, Koch also has personnel involved with the university. Richard Fink, the vice president of Koch Industries, Inc., and the former president of the Charles G. Koch Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, serves on the board of directors of the Mercatus Center. Fink's connection to George Mason University is strong. Besides teaching at the university from 1980-1986, Fink has also served on a number of boards at the university including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Center for the Study of Public Choice, the Board of Visitors, and the Student Affairs Committee.