George Mason University tightens rules on donor gifts

April 26, 2019 - 8:38 pm

Virginia's largest university is tightening its rules governing agreements with donors to ensure they don't infringe on academic freedom.

The changes at George Mason University come after disclosures last year that the conservative Charles Koch Foundation was given a say in the hiring and firing of professors under donor agreements that provided millions of dollars to the school.

The new rules implement recommendations made in October after a committee reviewed hundreds of agreements and found nearly 30 containing potentially problematic provisions.

The new rules approved this week by a task force make it easier for the public to review future agreements. Existing agreements, though, may still be shielded from public review.

Mason has been the biggest beneficiary in recent years as the Koch Foundation has increased philanthropy to universities nationwide.
 

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