Charles Koch gave $25m to our university. Has it become a rightwing mouthpiece? - 2019-05-02
Critics say the Koch Scholars program is one example of how Charles Koch has sought to transform the Utah State business school into a libertarian mouthpiece. Over the last 10 years Koch has given millions to the university, including a $25m gift in 2017 that led to the creation of a thinktank: the Center for Growth and Opportunity.
He is pursuing similar policies at schools nationwide, in what Koch officials themselves describe as a concerted effort to influence the next generation of political and business minds. "Our funding helps [scholars] follow their research wherever it may lead," the foundation says in public materials. "We are committed to the highest standards of philanthropy."
We are student journalists at Utah State, and for the past year we have been investigating the Koch donations for the Guardian and our student newspaper, the Utah Statesman. We have interviewed more than 20 of our fellow students and staff, and pulled dozens of public records. What we found paints a picture of how Charles Koch is using his wealth to affect the education of 3,500 students at the business school.