George Mason University

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George Mason University is a Virginia-based public university near Washington, D.C. A "magnet for right-wing money" [1] and heavily Koch-funded[1], it is notable for hosting over 40 libertarian research centers and affiliates including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mercatus Center.

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.


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.

Study Centers

The most influential of George Mason University's study centers are:


Law School Renamed after Antonin Scalia with $30 Million from Koch Foundation and Anonymous Donor

In April 2016, GMU announced that the Charles Koch Foundation was contributing $10 million to its law school. This contribution came at the same time as a $20 million anonymous donation that was contingent on the school being renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law.[2]

Funding received

"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."[1]

Between 2011 and 2014, the Charles Koch Foundation gave $48 million to GMU, the Associated Press has calculated.[3]

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 Institute of Humane Studies). [3]

Organizations funded by GMU

As of April 2011, George Mason University is listed among the funders of Princeton-based Climate Central[4], though this just reflects Climate Central's subcontracting on an NSF grant to GMU's Center for Climate Change Communication.[5]


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."[6]; "not only scholarship problems in the work, but clear failure in the PhD supervision process itself."[7]; 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.[8]")

SACS Accreditation

"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."[9]


Executive Council

(as of April 2004)

Board of Visitors

("Without limiting the generality of its powers, the Board of Visitors exercises its authority principally in policy-making and oversight.")

Notable Academics

Related to global warming

Notable attendees and alumni

Related to global warming


George Mason University has three campuses, at Arlington VA, Fairfax VA, and Prince William VA.

Contact information

4400 University Drive,
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
Phone: (703) 993-1000

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 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.”
  2. Lee Fang, "Law School Sells Naming Rights to Secretive Antonin Scalia Fan," The Intercept, April 1, 2016.
  3. Matthew Barakat, "George Mason University becomes a favorite of Charles Koch," Associated Press, April 1, 2016.
  4. Funding (Individuals, foundations, government agencies, and institutions providing funding for Climate Central). Climate Central. Retrieved on 2011-04-06.
  5. Ben Strauss email 2011-04-11; see reference on Climate Central page for detail.
  6. The Wegman report sees red (noise). Deep Climate (2010-10-25). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
  7. Wegman report update, part 2: GMU dissertation review. Deep Climate (2010-09-15). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
  8. George Mason University’s endless inquiry. Deep Climate (2010-12-23). Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
  9. SACS Accreditation. Office of the Provost - George Mason University. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
  10. Alan Merten (2011-03-23). Presidential Transition. George Mason University. Retrieved on 2011-09-29.
  11. Dr. Daniel B. Botkin. Center For the Study Of the Environment. Retrieved on 2011-09-25.
  12. Patrick J. Michaels - Cato Institute: Policy Scholars. Cato Institute. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
  13. 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.”
  14. John Mashey - (2011-10-30). Curious Coincidences at George Mason: Wegman, Johns and Cuccinelli. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-10-31.
  15. David W. Schnare. About Me. The Hard Look. Retrieved on 2011-11-05.

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External links

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on George Mason University. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.