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Friday, May 25, 2018

Who has a right to know about agreements between donors and state schools?


Editor's note

Students and faculty on many campuses are calling for the disclosure of donor identity and the demands tied to gifts for public universities. Journalism professor Alexa Capeloto explains why more transparency is needed in light of controversial agreements between George Mason University’s foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation.

Many of us have a tendency to put off making financial decisions, like investing in a 401(k), saving for the future or managing credit card debt. Typical explanations involve a lack of expertise in money matters or the complexity of financial products. Aner Sela, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Florida, has a different one, which pits the heart against the head.

In recent years, Christian television has moved into covering news and politics, reaching millions of viewers. North Carolina State’s Jason C. Bivins explains how the medium came to have such influence.

Emily Schwartz Greco

Philanthropy + Nonprofits Editor

Top stories

Students and faculty members have protested arrangements GMU made with donors. AP Photo/Matt Barakat

What's wrong with secret donor agreements like the ones George Mason University inked with the Kochs

Alexa Capeloto, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

When public universities and their foundations take large sums of money from political and strategic philanthropists, they can’t safeguard academic freedom unless there's some transparency.

Financial decisions can be a real maze. Andrii Vodolazhskyi/

Why we hate making financial decisions – and what to do about it

Aner Sela, University of Florida

Research suggests that the reason people may put off funding their 401(k) plans or managing credit card debt is because our perception of finance as 'cold' conflicts with our hot-blooded emotions.

President Donald Trump with televangelist Rev. Pat Robertson. AP Photo/Steve Helber

How Christian media is shaping American politics

Jason C. Bivins, North Carolina State University

In recent years, Christian television has moved into news and politics. A scholar explains its impact on beliefs and on politics.

Politics + Society

  • Informants aren't spies – they're essential FBI tools

    Douglas M. Charles, Pennsylvania State University

    An informant gathered information from Trump campaign staffers for the FBI's Russia probe. An historian writes that informants are one of the most basic ways the FBI and police investigate.

  • Why the Catholic church is 'hemorrhaging' priests

    Verónica Giménez Béliveau, University of Buenos Aires

    Pope Francis recently acknowledged that the Catholic Church is struggling to recruit new priests, endangering its very future. Why don't people want to join the clergy?

Arts + Culture

Science + Technology

Health + Medicine

Environment + Energy

Economy + Business

  • A brief history of American winemaking

    Liz Thach, Sonoma State University

    Wine came to the US in the 16th century but didn't make it to California – the leader in American winemaking – until the 19th century.

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