Billionaire Charles Koch, who is a frequent conservative political donor, has made a massive contribution to historically black colleges across the United States.
Through the Koch Foundation, Charles Koch donated $25.6 million to historically black colleges for the purpose of conducting research on criminal justice and entrepreneurship in cities plagued by high crime.
“Education transformed my life, and I’ve committed to do all I can to give others that same opportunity,” Koch said in a statement Wednesday evening. The Marshall fund has made that same commitment, he said, “giving students and scholars the chance to discover new ways to overcome barriers holding too many people back. As they succeed, so does our society.”
The donation was made to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which benefits students at 47 universities including Howard University, the University of the District of Columbia, Bowie State, and Morgan State, all of which are historically black institutions.
Liberals in academia are concerned about Koch money flowing to their universities. Ralph Wilson of Tallahassee, co-founder of a group called UnKoch My Campus, claims that these donations were made so that the Koch brothers can have more control over curriculum and activism at the receiving institutions.
“When they give the donor control, the trade-off is academic freedom,” Wilson argued.
Despite these claims, Brian Hooks, the president of the Koch foundation, maintains that the donations are not political in nature.
“Our commitment across the board with all of our grants… is to open inquiry,” Hooks said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re looking to support great scholars.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about social justice and libertarian issues for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org