Georgetown students aren’t the only ones on campus getting fired up about the upcoming presidential election. Candidates are raking in unprecedented amounts of money this election season from backers, political action committees – and university employees. In a study conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics and published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Georgetown University ranked fourth on the list of colleges whose employees donated the most, with $105,150 in total contributions. Only Harvard, Stanford and Columbia Universities ranked higher, with Harvard topping the charts at $281,050. Scott Fleming (SFS ’72), assistant to the president for federal relations, said he thinks Georgetown’s ability to attract professors with government experience is related to the university’s political activism, as measured through campaign donations. “It is reasonable to assume that Georgetown employees would be more likely than employees of other universities in other parts of the country to have had previous jobs – both political and career – in government,” he said. “Furthermore, social and other everyday interactions bring Georgetown faculty and staff into contact with politically engaged individuals.” According to the study, the education industry, which primarily includes university administrators and faculty members, ranks 12th among all industries in total contributions to federal candidates, ahead of the traditionally big donors in the oil and gas and pharmaceutical industries. The study also found that two Georgetown faculty members ranked among the top donors in the education industry to two Republican campaigns. Douglas Feith, visiting professor at the School of Foreign Service, donated $2,300 to former Sen. Fred Thompson’s campaign, a tie for the largest individual donation. Christopher Augostini, senior vice president and chief financial officer, donated $2,500 to former New York City Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s campaign, the fifth highest donation from an educator, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. According to the New York Times, Augostini donated $4,600 to Giuliani’s campaign. adeleine Albright, the Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy and former secretary of state in the Bill Clinton (SFS ’68) administration, donated $4,600 to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in 2007. Visiting professor and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) gave $2,300 to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Campaign finance laws limit individual donations to $2,300 per election, with primary and general elections counted separately. Fleming said that he believes the university is well represented from both sides of the political spectrum, even though more than three-quarters of the donations made by university employees this election season have gone to Democrats. “We have high profile faculty who have, over the years, served in both Democratic and Republican administrations. For example . Albright and [School of Foreign Service] Dean Robert Gallucci from the Clinton administration and former Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh and former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios from the Bush Administration,” Fleming said. “All of that, I would say, argues that political dialogue on our campus is pretty balanced.” In total, candidates have received a total of $6.2 million in financial donations nationwide from college administrators, faculty and other educators. Obama topped the list, with a total of $2.1 million in donations. Following him were Clinton, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), Giuliani and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), respectively.

Comments are closed.