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Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

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Foundation for Individual Rights in Education or FIRE is a group which claims to "defend and sustain individual rights at America's increasingly repressive and partisan colleges and universities." It is an advocate on such issues as "free speech" codes, religious liberty, due process for students, allocation of funding for student organizations, and defense against ideological indoctrination. FIRE is a major proponent of the intellectual diversity movement which aims to dismantle the so-called liberal bias in higher academia.

FIRE produces many Guides for students on their issues, including one on first-year orientation and "Thought Reform on Campus."

FIRE also has a legal network which connects students who feel their rights have been violated by faculty or administrators with attorneys specializing in FIRE's major talking points.


Ties to the Bradley Foundation

The Bradley Files reveal that FIRE was founded with Bradley cash in 1999,

"With Bradley funding, FIRE was founded in 1999 by Bradley Prize winner Alan Charles Kors and Encounter author Harvey Silverglate to defend rights on campus to freedom of speech and association, legal equality, due process, and religious liberty. Its strategy is based on the insight that the mere threat of exposure or legal action is often sufficient to persuade universities to remedy rights violations. FIRE has successfully intervened in hundreds of disputes at nearly 200 institutions, mostly through negotiations but also through litigation when necessary."[1]
Bradley Files

In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.

Find the series here at ExposedbyCMD.org.

Ties to the Koch Brothers

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has deep ties to the Koch brothers. The organization has received funding from the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, Donors Capital Fund and DonorsTrust. (See below)

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Ties to the State Policy Network

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is a former associate member of the State Policy Network.

Funding

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. FIRE's known funders include:

Core Financials

2014[3]

  • Total Revenue: $7,401,750
  • Total Expenses: $4,188,282
  • Net Assets: $5,915,288

2013[4]

  • Total Revenue: $3,119,177
  • Total Expenses: $3,318,604
  • Net Assets: $2,696,607

2012[5]

  • Total Revenue: $1,807,197
  • Total Expenses: $1,179,350
  • Net Assets: $2,898,658

Personnel

Staff

As of July 2017:[6]

  • Greg Lukianoff, President and CEO
  • Robert Shibley, Executive Director
  • Peter Bonilla, Vice President of Programs
  • William Creeley, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Advocacy
  • Alisha Glennon, Senior Vice President of Finance and Development
  • Samantha Harris, Vice President of Policy Research
  • Azhar Majeed, Vice President of Policy Reform
  • Ashley Adams, Annual Fund Manager
  • Laura Beltz, Program Officer, Policy Reform
  • Daniel Burnett, Communications Manager
  • Joe Cohn, Legislative and Policy Director
  • Ari Cohn, Director, Individual Rights Defense Program
  • Tyler Coward, Legislative Counsel
  • Peyton Cudaback, Director of Human Resources
  • Gordon Danning, History Research Fellow
  • Nikki Eastman, Lead Graphic and Interactive Designer
  • Jackie Farmer, Program Officer, Individual Rights Defense Program
  • Eli Feldman, Executive Assistant to the President
  • Bridget Glackin, Director of Development
  • Theresa Glinski, Program Associate, Campus Outreach
  • Adam Goldstein, Justice Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellow
  • Zachary Greenberg, Justice Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellow
  • Susan Kruth, Senior Program Officer, Legal and Public Advocacy
  • Zoe Kuenstler, Development Officer
  • Brynne Madway, Associate Attorney, Stand Up for Speech Litigation Project
  • Michael Maggiore, Office Administrator
  • Chris Maltby, Production and Design Manager, Sweidy Stata Video Fellow
  • Sarah McLaughlin, Senior Program Officer, Individual Rights Defense Program and Social Media Manager
  • John Merigliano, Web Developer
  • Cynthia Meyersburg, Research Fellow in Psychology
  • Alex Morey, Editor-in-Chief, Newsdesk; Program Officer, Legal and Public Advocacy
  • Tim Murphy, Digital Outreach and Alumni Development Fellow
  • Kelsey Naughton, Data Analyst
  • Molly Nocheck, Director of Campus Outreach
  • Pamela Paresky, Chief Research Officer to the President and CEO
  • Nico Perrino, Director of Communications
  • Graham Peterson, Faculty Outreach Fellow
  • Aaron Reese, Video Editor and Production Associate
  • William Rickards, Communications Coordinator
  • Luke Ripp, Program Associate, Campus Outreach
  • Alec Schoenfeld, Archival Fellow
  • Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder, High School Outreach Fellow
  • Adam Steinbaugh, Senior Program Officer and Investigative Reporter
  • Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, Director of Litigation
  • Ryne Weiss, Assistant to the Executive Director

Former Staff

Board of Directors

As of July 2017:[7]

  • Daniel Shuchman, Chairman
  • Harvey Silverglate, Co-founder
  • Barbara Bishop
  • Anthony Dick
  • Richard Losick
  • Joseph Maline
  • Marlene Mieske
  • Daphne Patai
  • Virginia Postrel
  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

Former Board Members

Board of Advisors

As of July 2017, the status of the Board of Advisors is unknown.

Contact Information

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
510 Walnut St.
Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-717-3473
Fax: 215-717-3440
Website: https://www.thefire.org
Email: fire@thefire.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheFIREorg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefireorg

References

  1. Bradley Foundation, [Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Grant Proposal Record], Bradley Files, 2016.
  2. Bradley Foundation, [Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Grant History], Bradley Files, 2016.
  3. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 2014 IRS Form 990, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, January 11, 2016.
  4. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education,2013 IRS Form 990, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, December 8, 2014.
  5. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 2012 IRS Form 990, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, November 13, 2013.
  6. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Staff,Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 2017.
  7. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Board of Directors,Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 2017.