Thursday, May 5, 2016

Update on GMU's donor agreement and SCHEV Meeting

After sending my email update last week, I sent a formal letter to the SCHEV Board asking them to seriously consider the impact of renaming the GMU law school and its long term effects on the school. I also shared the list of over 1,200 petition signatures. Thank YOU for helping make that possible.

Strings Attached

You may have seen the recent news report releasing the demands and stipulations attached to the Koch brothers donation to GMU. The National Law Journal has picked up the story, including information about the letter I sent and our petition.

The donation agreement leaked online shows that, in addition to renaming the law school, GMU must hire 12 additional faculty members and create 2 new centers expanding its law and economic focus. The provisions also require that the Koch Foundation be notified immediately if Dr. Henry Butler steps down or is removed as dean of the law school. The New York Times was the first to publish the leaked agreement.

It is clear that stipulations like this erode the school's academic independence and will most assuredly have an impact on the university's reputation.

Please forward this email to your friends and neighbors and ask them to add their names to the petition as well!

GMU Faculty Opposition

A Washington Post article from earlier this week highlights the controversy among GMU faculty and the school's administration. Several faculty have been outspoken in their opposition, posting an open letter expressing their concerns. The letter now has over 160 faculty signatures. At a faculty meeting yesterday, they adopted two resolutions relating to the potential renaming citing grave concerns about conflicts of interest relating to the donation agreement's stipulations.

SCHEV Board Meeting

As I mentioned in my last email, SCHEV's next Board meeting will be on May 16th and 17th at Washington & Lee University. I intend to be at the meeting, speaking with individual members if possible and to offer comments during the public comment period.

The public comment period will be on May 17th at the beginning of their agenda at 9:00am. The formal agenda will be posted on SCHEV's website one week before the meeting.

  • Those interested in making public comment should contact LeeAnn Rung at (804) 225-2602 or no later than 5:00pm on May 12th.
  • The speaker's name, address and topic must be provided.
  • Each speaker has up to 3 minutes and are asked to submit a written copy of their remarks at that time.