FSU to Review Policy Following Koch Foundation Controversy

Following widespread criticism of a contract that reportedly gave the foundation of billionaire Charles G. Koch the right to approve hiring decisions for two economics department faculty positions in return for a $1.5 million donation, Florida State University president Eric Barron has called for a review of the deal, the Miami Herald reports.

Barron, who was not at FSU in 2008 when the agreement with the Charles G. Koch Foundation was signed, had previously defended the contract. Although there are no rules granting the FSU faculty senate a review of donations that come with academic demands, Barron has asked the body's steering committee to examine the agreement "to ensure that the integrity of Florida State University [is] protected." In the future, the committee will consider forming small ad hoc faculty groups to review the academic implications of major gifts.

"They'd put an end to all this mess if they establish a policy that these donor arrangements are transparent," said adjunct FSU College of Medicine professor Raymond Bellamy. "[I]n the future, outsiders [should] not have any role in hiring faculty."

Katie Sanders. "FSU Reviews Policy After Koch Contract." Miami Herald 05/23/2011.