Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Letter Says Koch Grant to CUA Contrasts with Social Teaching

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Letter Says Koch Grant to CUA Contrasts with Social Teaching

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * A group of nearly 50 academics, including several former staffers of the U.S. bishops' conference, criticized the bishops' national university in December for accepting a $1 million gift from a conservative group known for funding efforts to oppose workers' rights.

The Catholic University of America's acceptance of the gift from the Charles Koch Foundation, the academics said, sends a signal of "stark contrast" between the church's long support of workers' attempts to unionize and the foundation's public policy objectives.

The Washington, D.C., university announced in November that it had received the gift to support research into "principled entrepreneurship" at its business school.

The grant, the university said in a release Nov. 12, will allow the school to hire three new visiting professors and one expert from the business world to teach and conduct research.

In their Dec. 15 letter, the academics alleged that the Koch Foundation has "an ideological agenda when it comes to shaping the national debate over economics and politics that is not simply academic in nature."

The letter was addressed to Catholic University's president, John Garvey, and its business school dean, Andrew Abela. …

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