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John Jay College rejects money from Koch brothers.

CUNY and its faculty are constantly crying poverty, but some money is simply no good to them. The president of John Jay College said the school will not solicit donations from groups associated with the billionaire Koch brothers because of campus opposition to taking money from the conservative activists, sources told The Post. The movement...
Time: 21:55     Date: 13.01.2018
Metro News: John Jay College rejects money from Koch brothers. NY Post 24 - US News

The president of John Jay College said the school will not solicit donations from groups associated with the billionaire Koch brothers because of campus opposition to taking money from the conservative activists, sources told The Post.

Cash flowing into college campuses from GOP-backing moguls Charles and David Koch has riled up left-leaning academia for years. Ironically, the brothers in 2015 launched a campaign for a cause near and dear to liberal hearts — criminal-justice reform.

Koch Industries, the conglomerate headed by the Koch brothers, was a sponsor of October’s “Smart on Crime” conference at John Jay along with groups including the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank.

Mark Holden, the Koch Industries general counsel, gave a keynote address he opened by referring to John Jay President Karol Mason as his friend and saying the current criminal-justice system “traps people in hopelessness.”

A John Jay spokeswoman would not give The Post an accounting of the Koch money that has come in during the last five years but said, “No funder will ever have the ability to influence or restrict the exercise of academic freedom and independent inquiry at John Jay.”

The money is substantial. A John Jay pamphlet thanking the college’s 2016 donors included the Charles Koch Foundation, listed as giving between $50,000 and $100,000, and the nonprofit Charles Koch Institute, which contributed between $10,000 and $25,000.

And at least one John Jay professor has received a Koch-funded research grant. Psychology professor Deryn Strange got $49,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation for a study involving police body cameras. Strange did not return a request for comment. The Charles Koch Foundation did not respond to a request for comment about its giving.

In a December meeting with the anti-Koch faculty members, President Mason said she wouldn’t put the Koch solicitation ban in writing lest she scare off other donors with what could be perceived as the school’s undue scrutiny of their cash, sources said.

And Mason said she would not hinder individual professors from accepting Koch grants.

Some CUNY faculty members blasted the anti-Koch faction for putting politics before the needs of students at the taxpayer-funded, public university.

“We’re talking about a college that hired at least one teacher who thinks having more dead cops is a great idea,” fumed a John Jay adjunct professor who requested anonymity.

“College should open young minds to varying ideas, not stifle them because they don’t agree with the politics.”

City Councilman Joseph Borelli (R-SI), an adjunct professor at the College of Staten Island, said, “There’s a saying about looking a gift horse in the mouth. I wish the Koch brothers were looking to make this type of an investment at the College of Staten Island.”

One critic noted how the Koch opponents were working against their own agenda.

“The John Jay protest against the Koch brothers is ironic, since their organizations have supported the argument that the US is engaged in ‘mass incarceration’ and that policing is too aggressive,” said Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

“[The Koch brothers] have supported de-incarceration and decriminalization measures. These are positions that the John Jay protesters presumably agree with.”

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