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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FSU faculty review of Koch deal to be released today



Florida State University this morning said the faculty review of the controversial contract with the Koch Foundation would be released today.

The university came under fire earlier this year after it was revealed that the foundation, controlled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch, pledged $1.5 million for positions in FSU's economics department, as reported in the Times. In return, Koch's representatives got to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting "political economy and free enterprise.

Soon after the news broke, FSU president Eric Barron directed faculty members to review the contract. Faculty Senate President Sandra Lewis said the review would likely be completed by mid-July.

Just yesterday, progressive advocacy group Progress Florida, sent Barron a petition signed by almost 9,000 people, calling for FSU to dump the Koch deal.

Barron responded late that afternoon, sending a message to Progress Florida's leader saying:

If we wish to ensure the future of public education and the future of this nation, it is extremely important that our discourse and debate be based on fact. Presented with a statement given as fact that Florida State sold off its hiring decisions, I am not surprised that Progress Florida collected a number of signatures. But, the facts are that we have not done so, and we would not do so. I am confident that the independent faculty review will demonstrate that Florida State hired top scholars through a hiring process that was fully governed by our faculty.

The faculty review is expected to be released this afternoon. Check back here for updates.

[Last modified: Friday, July 15, 2011 11:58am]


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