George Mason gets $1.1 million Koch gift for research on immigration, labor

FILE PHOTO: Activists and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients protest against the Trump administration’s policies on immigrants and immigration, during a demonstration in Manhattan, New York, U.S., March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky/File Photo

A $1.1 million gift to George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government will pay for research on demographic changes, immigration and labor issues, the university announced Thursday.

The money, a five-year grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, will underwrite work at the Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions and Policy at George Mason, a public university in Northern Virginia. At least five new PhD fellows are expected to be involved in the research, and the funding will also cover an annual workshop, according to a news release.

“It’s a great statement of faith and support for the research that we have been doing for some years,” said Jack Goldstone, a professor who leads the center. “I have been working on the impact of demographic change on politics and economics for about a decade, and this grant will help me and George Mason attract and support first-rate PhD students to extend our research into new areas.”

George Mason, which earlier this month announced a $50 million gift to its law school, has recently sought to address concerns about philanthropy at the institution, and whether some funding came with constraints on academic freedom. That debate involved Koch – the billionaire backer of conservative political causes and major donor in higher education – and his foundation’s ties to George Mason.

Last May, George Mason President Ángel Cabrera acknowledged some gift arrangements did not meet academic independence standards, a disclosure that was followed by a review of donor agreements. A panel that presided over that review did not find any “egregious practices” in the pacts, a report later indicated.

Goldstone dismissed possible concerns about the latest funding, saying it appeared the same level of flexibility and support he has had with previous financial arrangements will apply to the Koch gift.

“For me, it’s just – what a great opportunity to improve research at George Mason,” he said. “And beyond that, we have administrators and other people to worry about whatever those concerns might be. But they don’t enter into my thinking.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Yes, I would like to receive emails from DESI TALK Headlines!. Sign me up!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: News India Times | Desi Talk Headlines | Desi Talk Chicago, 35 JOURNAL SQ, JERSEY CITY, NJ, 07306, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact