But to their credit, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) did not try to put a big happy face on it. “I know you’ve been following the court case between students at George Mason University and the school’s fundraising body, the GMU Foundation,” Stephanie Parsons of the AAUP stated in a statement distributed on the AAUP’s academe blog. “Last week, the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled that the GMU Foundation does NOT have to release their records with the Koch brothers, disappointing students and the public trust in their decision.”
Nevertheless, Parsons found a silver lining: “According to the judge, when a donation includes specific restrictions or conditions, those conditions become public record. This affirms student claims that George Mason University has a responsibility to release more documents, and we’re going to hold them to it.”
Here’s what Parsons’ interprets that proviso: “George Mason University in Virginia is ground zero for Koch influence in higher education. Students and faculty have worked for years filing records requests, meeting with leadership, and being stalled at every juncture. Enough is enough, and now even the courts agree.”
In jubilation, she may not realize this cuts both ways: What if conservative lawyers, and there are some, try to open the books on progressive deep pockets?