George Mason University
George Mason University is a Virginia-based public university near Washington, D.C. A "magnet for right-wing money"  and heavily Koch-funded, it is notable for hosting over 40 libertarian research centers and affiliates including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mercatus Center.
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.
- 1 History
- 2 Study Centers
- 3 Funding
- 4 Controversies
- 5 SACS Accreditation
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Notable attendees and alumni
- 8 Campuses
- 9 Contact information
- 10 Articles and resources
- 11 External links
The university began as the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia in 1957. In 1972 it had grown to the point where it officially separated from its parent institution.
It became a "magnet for right-wing money" during the 1990s: from 1992 through 1994, 12 libertarian foundations invested a combined total of $8.55 million in various academic programs and institutes of George Mason University. It was this funding that help establish (and continues to support) the University's unrivalled set of libertarian "study centers", which aim to recruit and support young, free-market-oriented students - typically through paid-for "study trips", seminars, and placements.
The most influential of George Mason University's study centers are:
- Institute for Humane Studies (Charles Koch appears to be chairman of its Board of Directors)[ http://www.theihs.org/koch-summer-fellow-program/faqs#159 ]
- Mercatus Center (Charles Koch sits on its Board of Directors)
- Center for Market Processes ("was a precursor to the Mercatus Center")
- Center for the Study of Public Choice
- Law and Economics Program and Center
Funding of study centers
The Mercatus Center is currently the main focus of right-wing and libertarian funding. Between 1999 and 2001, the Mercatus Center was the third largest recipient of conservative foundation money (a position previously held by the Institue of Humane Studies). 
Organizations funded by GMU
As of April 2011, George Mason University is listed among the funders of Princeton-based Climate Central, though this just reflects Climate Central's subcontracting on an NSF grant to GMU's Center for Climate Change Communication.
Wegman Report and GMU's "slow-as-molasses" misconduct investigation
See Wegman Report for the investigation timeline; as of October 2011, 18+ months after the initial complaint, the investigation has not concluded.
("Allegations [of dubious scholarship including plagiarism and inaccuracy] now touch on no less than 35 pages of the Wegman report, as well as the federally funded Said et al 2008."; "not only scholarship problems in the work, but clear failure in the PhD supervision process itself."; yet, "more than nine long months after [allegedly plagiarized author Raymond] Bradley’s initial formal complaint, it is still not known whether GMU has managed to complete its inquiry, or whether there will be a formal investigation....every step of the way GMU has not respected its own procedures and timelines, leading to ...delay and obfuscation... disregarded its obligations with respect to possible misconduct in federally funded work.")
- "George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees."
(as of April 2004)
- Alan Merten, President; to step down June 30, 2012.
- Thomas Hennessey, Chief of Staff
- Maurice Scherrens, Senior Vice President
- Peter Stearns, Provost
- Helen Ackerman, Vice President for University Relations
- Randall Edwards, Executive Vice President
- Joy Hughes, Vice President for Information Technology
- Earl Ingram, Vice President/University Equity Officer
- Judith Jobbitt, President, GMU Foundation, Vice President for University Development and Alumni Affairs
- Karen Rosenblum, Vice President for University Life
Board of Visitors
("Without limiting the generality of its powers, the Board of Visitors exercises its authority principally in policy-making and oversight.")
- Edwin Meese III, Rector
- Sidney O. Dewberry, Vice Rector
- Dorothy Gray, Secretary
- David Anderson
- Mel Chaskin
- Edwin J. Feulner, Jr.
- Richard Fink
- Denny Garcia
- William P. Johnson, II
- Teresa Klaassen
- Byron F. Marchant
- Long Nguyen
- Leonard M. Pomata
- Gary Shapiro
- Sudhakar Shenoy
- John Knox Singleton
- David Armor, Professor of Public Policy
- David E. Bernstein, Professor of Law
- James M. Buchanan, University Professor Emeritus of Economics
- Timothy J. Conlan, Professor of Government and Politics
- Rick Davis, Artistic Director, Theater of the First Amendment
- Thomas Dietz, Professor of Sociology
- Stephen Fuller, Professor of Public Policy
- Hassan Gomaa, Professor of Public Policy
- Kingsley E. Haynes, Dean of School of Public Policy
- Vernon L. Smith, Professor of Law and Economics
- Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics (Heritage, Reason, Pelerin, etc)
- Leonard Liggio, Professor of Law (Atlas, Cato, CEI, Pelerin, etc)
- Robert D. Tollison, economist (Center for the Study of Public Choice) and tobacco consultant
- Richard Wagner, economist (Center for the Study of Public Choice) and tobacco consultant
Related to global warming
- Edward Wegman, Statistics professor and nominal author of the largely discredited Wegman Report
- James Trefil, public figure in science education and science literacy who does not trust existing climate science
- Jagadish 'J' Shukla, Professor of Climate Dynamics
- S. Robert Lichter, head of the largely-conservative-foundation-funded Center for Media and Public Affairs, is listed among the faculty researchers of GMU's Center for Climate Change Communication.
- Daniel Botkin, Professor of Biology, 1992 – Present
- S. Fred Singer ("1994- Distinguished Research Professor, Institute for Humane Studies")
- Pat Michaels, Senior Research Fellow for Policy and Economic Development
Notable attendees and alumni
- Karl Rove
- Nancy Pfotenhauer ("started her career as graduate research assistant to Walter Williams at George Mason University, where she was taking an MA in economics")
Related to global warming
- Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General pursuing Michael Mann (GMU Law School, 1995)
- Wesley Russell, Virginia Deputy Attorney General
- Yasmin Said, co-author with Edward Wegman of the Wegman report, the shortcomings of which have put Wegman under investigation
- Milton Johns, Edward Wegman's attorney ( GMU Law School Cuccinelli contemporary, and in 2008, partner in 4-person law firm Cuccinelli & Day LLC )
- David W. Schnare, principal of & attorney for the American Tradition Institute, suing in 2011 to view Michael Mann's emails ( GMU Law School, 1999)
- Marc Morano (BA political science), CFACT Director of Communications and host of its anti-climate-science weblog
George Mason University has three campuses, at Arlington VA, Fairfax VA, and Prince William VA.
4400 University Drive,
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
Phone: (703) 993-1000
Articles and resources
- No byline (Undated). Koch and George Mason University. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-03-03. “Since 1985, George Mason University (GMU), and its associated institutes and centers, has received more funding from the Koch Family Charitable Foundations than any other organization--a total of $29,604,354. The George Mason University Foundation has received the most funding, $20,297,143, while the Institute for Humane Studies has been directly given $3,111,457, the Mercatus Center $1,442,000, and George Mason University itself has received $4,753,754.”
- Funding (Individuals, foundations, government agencies, and institutions providing funding for Climate Central). Climate Central. Retrieved on 2011-04-06.
- Ben Strauss email 2011-04-11; see reference on Climate Central page for detail.
- The Wegman report sees red (noise). Deep Climate (2010-10-25). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
- Wegman report update, part 2: GMU dissertation review. Deep Climate (2010-09-15). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
- George Mason University’s endless inquiry. Deep Climate (2010-12-23). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
- SACS Accreditation. Office of the Provost - George Mason University. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
- Alan Merten (2011-03-23). Presidential Transition. George Mason University. Retrieved on 2011-09-29.
- Dr. Daniel B. Botkin. Center For the Study Of the Environment. Retrieved on 2011-09-25.
- Patrick J. Michaels - Cato Institute: Policy Scholars. Cato Institute. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
- Derek Kravitz (2010-03-23). Protesters greet Cuccinelli at GMU speech. Virginia Politics Blog. Retrieved on 2011-11-05. “Cuccinelli, who is a 1995 alumnus of the law school, appeared unfazed.”
- John Mashey - (2011-10-30). Curious Coincidences at George Mason: Wegman, Johns and Cuccinelli. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-10-31.
- David W. Schnare. About Me. The Hard Look. Retrieved on 2011-11-05.
Related SourceWatch articles
- PolluterWatch, Charles Koch vs. Academic Freedom, Greenepeace USA, updated August 13, 2015.
- DeSmogBlog, Koch and George Mason University: Koch Academic Freedom Concerns, accessed August 12, 2014.
- Connor Gibson and Lindsey Berger, Koch Pollution on Campus: Academic Freedom Under Assault from Charles Koch's $50 Million Campaign to Infiltrate Higher Education, Greenpeace USA, September 15, 2014.
- George Mason University and George Mason University Foundation, Inc., Media Transparency, undated, accessed April 2004.
- American Association of University Professors Statement on Plagiarism
- Clean Air Trust, "Trust names Wendy Lee Gramm the Clean Air 'Villain' of the month", January 10, 2002.
- GMU fails to conduct Wegman investigation in a timely manner http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/12/gmu_fails_to_conduct_wegman_in.php