Philanthropy and the Character of the Public Research University — The Intersections of Private Giving, Institutional Autonomy, and Shared Governance
Facilitating Higher Education Growth through Fundraising and Philanthropy H. C. Alphin Jr., J. Lavine, S. E. Stark & A.Hocke (eds.) (Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2015 Forthcoming)
Posted: 7 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 1, 2015
Educational scholars have examined the relationship of philanthropy and its contributions to the public university. Yet, there has been little discussion of the influence of philanthropy on the governance space of the public research university, and specifically as conditional philanthropy may affect academic integrity and shared governance. In this chapter, we consider these larger issues in the context of a study of a recent case. Drawing on public records, interviews, and university documents, the chapter examines conditional donation of The Charles G. Koch Foundation (CKF) to the Florida State University (FSU). We suggest that the Koch Foundation gift appears to illustrate a new model of governance based philanthropy. It has done so by tying donations to control or influence of the internal governing mechanics of an academic unit of a public university. This model has generated controversy. Though there was substantial faculty and student backlash, the model appears to be evidence of a new philanthropic relationship between the public university and substantial donors, one in which donors may change the nature of traditional shared governance relationships within the university. We maintain that instances of such “new” strategic philanthropy require greater focus on and sensitivity to shared governance and faculty input as a way to ensure accountability, especially to preserve the integrity of the academic enterprise and its public mission where donors seek to leverage philanthropy into choices relating to faculty hires, courses and programs traditionally at the center of faculty prerogatives in shared governance.
Keywords: philanthropy, university, shared governance, charities, education finance
JEL Classification: I22, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation