Tuesday, May 06, 2008

UAA: a partially owned subsidiary of ConocoPhillips

UAA is actually proud of turning their science building into an advertisement for corporate giant ConocoPhillips:
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. has pledged $15 million to support science and engineering programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). This gift is the largest the company has ever made in Alaska and is also the largest single corporate gift that the University system, including UAA has received.

In honor of this pledge, and in recognition of the $20 million dollars in unrestricted support that ConocoPhillips has contributed to the University of Alaska since 1999, UAA’s new Integrated Science Building will carry ConocoPhillips’ name. Four million dollars of this gift will fund equipment for the state-of-the-art ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building which is due to open its doors in fall of 2009; $11 million will establish the ConocoPhillips Arctic Science and Engineering Endowment.
Sort of an expensive ad and employee-training program, but what the hey, after those 89 percent quarterly profits in 2005 (post-Katrina), and the continued ridiculously good to really good profits in 2006, 2007, and the first quarter of 2008, they've got a little change to throw around.

'Course, it's hard to tell exactly how much money they're making, because oil companies are notoriously secretive and tricky about their accounting. At least, as secretive as they can get away with.

But aside from all that, it's just bothersome to me when individuals or companies donate money and then get their names on buildings or institutes or some such at a university. It just seems wrong, as though they are buying the university, converting it into a subsidiary of the company or subsuming the mission of the institution, converting it into cheery adverts and marketing for a money-making machine. Forget education and knowledge! Let's just use universities as the good PR outlets they are (and maybe brainwash a few students while we're at it)!

Ayn Rand sucks.

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