Thursday, May 6, 2021

Columbia University Provost Katznelson's Russelll Sage Foundation Connection: Part 10

 

Foundation, on whose board successor to Columbia provost as Social Science Research Council president, and a Russell Sage Foundation trustee, also sat in 2020.

Columbia Provost and 2019-2020 Russell Sage Foundation “Olivia Sage Scholar” Ira Katznelson’s successor as Social Science Research Council president, former Columbia Professor of Sociology and “Dean of Social Science” Alondra Nelson, was also “tapped” to sit on the Russell Sage Foundation’s board of trustees (that Columbia Provost Katznelson sat on between 1992 and 2002) in June of 2020—less than 5 months after she was “tapped” to sit on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s board of trustees in late January 2020.


In addition, besides sitting next to Hall Capital Partners LLC Founder and Co-Chair Kathryn A. Hall, former Tishman Speyer Senior Managing Director Katherine G. Farley, Canyon Partners LLC Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO Joshua S. Friedman and Lone Pine Capital Managing Director and Portfolio Manager Kelly Grant on the Mellon Foundation’s board of trustees, Columbia Provost Katznelson’s successor as Social Science Research Council president also sat next to Duke University President Emeritus Richard H. Brodhead and Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway on the Mellon Foundation’s board.


And, coincidentally, like institutionally racist and classist Columbia University, both “non-profit” Duke University and “non-profit” Rutgers University have been given “charitable” grants in recent years by the “philanthropic” Mellon Foundation—whose board includes a Duke University president emeritus and the current president of Rutgers University.


Between March 15, 2018 and March 12, 2021, for example, the university that Mellon Foundation Trustee Brodhead is president emeritus of, institutionally racist and classist Duke University, was given 7 grants by the Mellon Foundation, totaling over $5.2 million, including:  a “charitable” grant of $698,000 on March 15, 2018 for “Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement;” another “charitable” grant of $3 million ($3,000,000) on March 15, 2018 “to support the Humanities Unbounded Institute;” a “charitable” grant of $630,000 on March 12, 2021 “to support an intergenerational project archiving and documenting contemporary activism;” and another “charitable” grant of $300,000 on March 12, 2021 “to support a New Directions Fellowship for Tsitsi Jaji” (a Duke University Associate Professor of English), according to the Mellon Foundation’s website.


And since 2018 the university that Mellon Foundation Trustee Holloway is president of, institutionally racist and classist Rutgers University, has been given over $21.2 million by the “philanthropic” Mellon Foundation, including: a “charitable” grant of $300,000 on March 6, 2019 “to support a New Directions Fellowship for Susanna Schellenberg,” a Rutgers University professor of philosophy and cognitive science; and a “charitable grant of $15 million ($15,000,000) on Sept. 18, 2020, “to support the establishment of an institute for the advanced study of race and social justice”--which, according to the institutionally racist and classist Mellon Foundation’s president, former Columbia University Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor in the Humanities Elizabeth Alexander, purportedly “seeks to resolve global racism and injustice through the power of humanistic inquiry,” rather than through systematic revolutionary institutional change.


But, as a Sept. 24, 2020 Rutgers University press release indicated, this $15 million “charitable” grant from the Mellon Foundation “will support and amplify the scholarship of researchers who are based in the humanities” and “will provide opportunities for Rutgers faculty” at a university whose president is, coincidentally, a member of the “philanthropic” Mellon Foundation board of trustees.


The Manhattan-based “non-profit” Mellon Foundation which, like the Upper West Side-based Columbia University, still fails to pay a fair share of NYC, state and federal taxes in 2021, also paid total annual compensations to its executives in 2018 that were a lot more than the total annual compensations most essential workers in NYC were paid in 2018.


According to its Form 990 financial filing for 2018, for example, between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018 the “non-profit” Mellon Foundation paid Mellon Foundation Senior Portfolio Manager Monica C. Spencer a total annual compensation of over $993,000 and paid Mellon Foundation Senior Portfolio Manager Karen Grieb Inal a total annual compensation of over $713,000.


In addition, Mellon Foundation Portfolio Manager Abigail Archibald was paid a total annual compensation of over $581,000 and Mellon Foundation CFO Thomas J. Sanders was paid a total annual compensation of over $539,000 in 2018 by the Mellon Foundation. And Mellon Foundation Senior Program Officer Diane S. Harris was paid a total annual compensation of over $500,000 (including a $60,000 annual expense account) during this same period, by the “non-profit” Mellon Foundation.


But although the Mellon Foundation claims to be a “philanthropic” organization, much of the money it utilizes to give “charitable” grants to Columbia, Duke and Rutgers and pay generous salaries to its own executives is obtained from the interest and dividends it receives each year from owning corporate stocks or corporate bonds in corporations that exploit essential workers and consumers.


In 2019, for example, over $3.5 million worth of Wal-Mart corporate stock was owned by the Mellon Foundation—on whose board of trustees Columbia Provost and 2019-2020 Russell Sage “Olivia Sage Scholar” Katznelson’s successor as Social Science Research Council president, as well as a Russell Sage Foundation trustee in 2020, also sat in 2020.


(end of part 10. To Be continued). (This article was first posted on the Upper West Side Patch website).


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Columbia University Provost Katznelson's Russell Sage Foundation Connection: Part 9

 

Headquarters at 140 E. 62nd. St. in Manhattan of "non-profit" Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose board of trustees included Russell Sage Foundation trustee and ex-Columbia professor in 2020.

In January 2020 the former Columbia professor of sociology and Columbia “Dean of Social Science” who succeeded Columbia Provost and 2019-2020 Russell Sage Foundation “Olivia Sage Scholar” Katznelson as the Social Science Research Council’s president, Alondra Nelson, became a trustee of the Manhattan-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


And by November 2020 Social Science Research Council President and Mellon Foundation Trustee Nelson was also apparently sitting on the board of trustees of the Russell Sage Foundation (where Columbia Provost Katznelson sat between 1992 and 2002)—next to former Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Dean and Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Nicholas Lemann.


Coincidentally, between March 5, 2020 and Dec. 11, 2020, the Columbia University and Teachers College of Columbia University “non-profit” institutions on the Upper West Side received 4 “charitable” grants, totaling over $5.7 million, from the “philanthropic” Mellon Foundation, on whose board of trustees the Social Science Research Council president now sat, according to the Mellon Foundation’s website.


On March 5, 2020, for example, the Mellon Foundation gave a tax-exempt grant of $250,000 to Columbia University “to support a New Directions Fellowship for Rhiann Stephens,” who (according to Columbia University’s website) was an “On Leave Associate Professor of History” during the 2020-2021 academic year.


In addition, on Sept. 18, 2020 the Mellon Foundation gave a “charitable” grant of $500,000 to Teachers College of Columbia University “to support a study on guided transfer pathways in the humanities.” And on Dec. 11, 2020, institutionally racist Columbia University was given a “charitable” grant of 5 million dollars ($5,000,000) by the “non-profit” Mellon Foundation for “Racial Justice and Abolition Democracy: An Action Curriculum for a Just Society.”


According to its website, the Mellon Foundation, whose headquarters is located at 140 East 62nd Street (just two blocks south of the Columbia-linked Russell Sage Foundation’s headquarters building on East 64th Street), “was created in 1969 with $273 million in assets.”


Yet despite purportedly being a “non-profit institution, by 1970 the Mellon Foundation “had assets of $700 million” and “by 1980, the last year the Foundation received a payout from Alisa Mellon Bruce’s estates, its assets had grown to $880 million.” In addition, according to the “non-profit” Mellon Foundation’s website, by the end of 2019 “its endowment” now “totaled approximately $6.9 billion."


At the same time, even 7 years after the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation received its payout from Alisa Mellon Bruce’s estate, “much of the Mellon fortune,” was still “in the hands of the six grandchildren of Richard B. Mellon and the three grandchildren of Andrew W. Mellon,” according to Michael Patrick Allen’s 1987 book The Founding Fortunes: A New Anatomy of the Super-Rich Families In America.


The “stock in the original Mellon companies” owned by the family nearly 20 years after the Mellon Foundation was created was “now worth $1.1 billion” in the late 1980’s; and “in addition,” the Mellon family’s “proceeds from various stock sales” came to “over $3.2 billion, most of this from their Gulf Oil stock,” as well as “$2.1 billion in dividend income” between 1937 and 1987, “from their stocks in Gulf Oil, Aluminum Company of America [ALCOA] and Mellon National alone.” So that, nearly 20 years after the “philanthropic” Mellon Foundation was created, the Mellons were still “worth at least $6 billion [equal to over $13.8 billion in 2021 dollars]," according to the same book.


 Mellon Foundation trustees (like Social Science Research Council President Nelson became in 2020) were being paid $20,000 to $25,000 annually by this foundation in 2015, according to the Mellon Foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2015-- for the 3 to 5 hours they purportedly spent each week working for this foundation. And according to the same Form 990 financial filing, the then-Mellon Foundation president, Earl Lewis, was paid a total annual compensation of nearly $1 million in 2015, including an expense account of $150,000.


Coincidentally, the current Mellon Foundation president, Elizabeth Alexander, “was the Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University from 2015 until joining the Foundation in 2018,” according to the Mellon Foundation’s website. And, not surprisingly, in 2018 and 2019, the “philanthropic” Mellon Foundation gave “non-profit” Columbia University 12 tax-exempt grants, totaling over $9.6 million.


On March 15, 2018, for example, the Mellon Foundation gave Columbia University a “charitable” grant of $1,123,000 for “Establishing a Fellowship Program for Emerging Displaced Scholars at the Columbia Global Center in Amman;” and on May 31, 2018, the Mellon Foundation gave a “charitable” grant of $900,000 to Columbia University “for Liberal Arts Index."


In addition, on Dec. 13, 2018, the Mellon Foundation gave a “charitable” grant of $800,000 to Columbia University for “The Center for Science and Society, Phase II” and a “charitable” grant of $750,000 to Columbia for “The Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University” to do research “on conflict urbanism.” 


But between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018, the “non-profit” Mellon Foundation also collected over $23.2 million in net dividends and interest from the corporate stocks and bonds it owned of for-profit corporations that exploit essential workers and consumers; and it also gained $455 million from the sale of some of its over $6 billion in assets during this period, according to its Form 990 financial filing for 2018, while spending over $7.7 million of the foundation’s revenues on paying for “investment management.”


Between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018, for example, over $2.4 million was “given” to Silchester International Investors Inc., over $1.8 million was “given” to the General Atlantic Service Company LLC, over $1.3 million was “given” to Wellington Management, over $1.2 million was” given” to JP Morgan Investment Management Inc. and over $880,000 was “given” to Westwood Global Investment LLC, by the Columbia University, Social Science Research Council and Russell Sage Foundation-linked “philanthropic” Mellon Foundation—for “investment management.”


(end of part 9. To be continued) (This article was first posted on the Upper West Side Patch website).  


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Columbia University Provost Katznelson's Russell Sage Foundation Connection: Part 8

 

"Non-profit" Social Science Research Council: Former and current presidents linked to Columbia University and Russell Sage Foundation?

Besides being the Columbia provost who failed to immediately agree to meet the demands of the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW 2110 union during its 2021 strike at the Upper West Side university, former Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees Chair and Trustee and 2019--2020 Russell Sage Foundation “Olivia Sage Scholar” Ira Katznelson  sat on the Brooklyn-based Social Science Research Council’s board of directors and executive committee from 2008 until at least 2018; and, between 2012 and August 31, 2017, Columbia Provost Katznelson was the president of the  Social Science Research Council.


For being the Social Science Research Council president, Columbia Provost Katznelson obtained a total annual compensation of $323,091 between 2016 and 2017 from that “non-profit” organization, according to the Social Science Research Council’s Form 990 financial filing for 2017.


And former Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Katznelson’s successor as the Social Science Research Council President since September 2017 has been a former sociology professor and former “Dean of Social Science” at institutionally racist Columbia University, Alondra Nelson, who has also apparently sat on the boards of both the “philanthropic” Andrew W. Mellon and Russell Sage foundations in 2020. As a Jan. 30, 2020 press release that was posted on the Manhattan-based “non-profit” Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s website noted:

 

“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced that Alondra Nelson, president of the Social Science Research Council…has been elected to its Board of Trustees.


“`We are thrilled that Alondra Nelson is joining the Mellon Board…,’ said Mellon Board of Trustees Chair Kathryn Hall….


“`It is a deep honor to join the Mellon Board of Trustees..,’ said Nelson.


“…Nelson was on the faculty of Columbia University, where she served as the inaugural dean of social science for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences...Nelson’s research has been supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation….”


Coincidentally, less than six months after 2019--2020 Russell Sage Foundation “Olivia Sage Scholar” Katznelson’s successor as Social Science Research Council president was “elected” to the Mellon Foundation board of trustees, the Russell Sage Foundation stated in a June 21, 2020 blog post, on its own website, that “the Russell Sage Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of…Alondra Nelson to its board of trustees effective at its November 2020 board meeting.”


Then, in a subsequent Jan. 22, 2021 blog post, the Russell Sage Foundation, coincidentally, announced that the former Columbia professor of sociology, Social Science Research Council president, Mellon Foundation trustee and Russell Sage Foundation trustee, “Alondra Nelson has been appointed by President Biden as deputy director for science and society;” and “in this capacity, she will help lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).”

 

On its website, the Social Science Research Council claims it is “an independent” and “nonprofit” institution that “mobilizes necessary knowledge for the public good,” whose slogan is “Mobilizing Social Science For The Public Good.”


Yet according to its Form 990 financial filing for 2018, between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 the “nonprofit” Social Science Research Council (which, as a “public charity,” paid no federal income tax on its investment income of over $2.2 million and total revenues of over $19.6 million) spent less than $5 million on grants (including $798,712 on 177 ‘research” grants), but over $9 million on “salaries/other compensation/employee benefits.”


For example, Social Science Research Council President Nelson (who was paid a total compensation of $84,766 between Sept. 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 by the Social Science Research Council, after she succeeded Columbia Provost Katznelson as its president during this period, according to its Form 990 financial filing for 2017) received a total annual compensation of $276,007 from this non-profit organization between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019; before also joining the Mellon Foundation board of trustees in January 2020, joining the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees in November 2020 and joining the Biden White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2021.


Coincidentally, the Russell Sage Foundation trustee who was given a grant of $163,531 by the Russell Sage Foundation to study “Sociostructural and psychological factors supporting the misperception of racial economic equality” in 2020-2021, Yale University Professor Jennifer Richeson, also sits on the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council—next to former Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs “research scholar” and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Trustee Vishakha N. Desai (who is also a board member of “one of the five biggest global companies in India,” Mahindra and Mahindra, according to the Social Science Research Council’s website).


In addition, other Social Science Research Council board members who sit next to Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Richeson include: Columbia University Professor of Economics and former Goldman, Sachs & Company Vice-President Jose A. Scheinkman; former Federal Reserve Bank of New York Senior Vice-President Til Schuerman; Skyview Ventures Principal and former Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust Managing Director Peter Nager; Windcrest Partners General Partner Michael Gellert; Warburg Pincus Special Limited Partner William H. Janeway; and Curten Capital Managing Partner Joseph Schull (who is “a longstanding investor in the technology, media and telecommunications sector,” according to the Social Science Research Council website).


And although Social Science Research Council President and Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Nelson also sits next to “longstanding investor in the technology, media and telecommunication sector” Joseph Schull on the board of the Social Science Research Council (despite this “non-profit” claiming to be mobilizing social science “for the public good”), as previously noted, the Russell Sage Foundation website’s Jan. 22, 2021 blog post observed that Social Science Research Council President Nelson, coincidentally, will now “help lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy” in 2021 as the Biden White House’s “deputy director for science and society.”


(end of part 8. To be continued). (This article was first posted on the Upper West Side Patch website)


Monday, May 3, 2021

Columbia University Provost Katznelson's Russell Sage Foundation Connection: Part 7

 

19th-Century U.S. Robber Baron Jay Gould's business partner, Russell Sage--from whose inherited wealth Russell Sage Foundation's endowment was obtained.

The Columbia provost who failed to immediately agree to meet the demands of the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW 2110 union during its 2021 strike at the Upper West Side university, Ira Katznelson, and former Columbia Provost Claude Steele, are not the only Russell Sage Foundation trustees who ever received “charitable” grants from this foundation before they sat on the “philanthropic” foundation’s board of trustees.


Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Larry M. Bartels has been sitting next to former Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Dean, current Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company board member and Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Nicholas Lemann on the Russell Sage Foundation board since 2013.


And besides being paid $8,000 by the Russell Sage Foundation between Sept. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019 (according to the foundation’s Form 990 financial filing) for sitting on its board, before joining the Russell Sage Foundation’s board Trustee Bartels received 4 grants from the Russell Sage Foundation between 2001 and 2010, including a “charitable” grant of $8,500 in March 2002 for a “Conference on Trust in Government" and a grant of $29,600 in November 2010.


In addition, when former Columbia Provost Steele was sitting on both the MacArthur Foundation board of directors and the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees in 2012, a MacArthur Foundation grant was, coincidentally, given to Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Bartels a year before he joined the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees in 2013.


Another Russell Sage Foundation trustee, who has been sitting on its board of trustees next to former Columbia School of Journalism Dean Lemann since 2012, is Karen S. Cook; and, like Trustee Bartels, Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Cook received “charitable” grants from the foundation before joining its board of trustees.


Between 1994 and 2009, Trustee Cook received at least 7 tax-exempt grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, totaling over $500,000: a $20,000 grant between 1994 and 1996 for workshops on “The Construction and Maintenance of Trust”; a $120,000 grant between 1995 and 1998 for a working group proposal on “The Construction and Maintenance of Trust;”; a $24,500 grant in November 1999 to study “Reciprocal Trust in Patient-Physician Relationships: Managing the Transition from Individual to Group Trust;” a $300,000 grant between 1999 and 2004 for “The Construction and Maintenance of Trust: Continuation Grant Project Proposal;” a $25,000 “Physician-Patient Trust” exploratory grant between 2000 and 2002; a $5,000 “Physician-Patient Trust” supplemental grant in 2002;  and a $35,000 “Trust Capstone Volume Grant” grant between 2007 and 2009. And between Sept. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019, Trustee Cook was also paid $9,610 by the “philanthropic” Russell Sage Foundation for sitting on its board of trustees.


Before joining former Columbia School of Journalism Dean Lemann on the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees in 2013, Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Kathryn Edin (who was paid $7,715 between Sept. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019 for sitting on its board of trustees) also received a 1991-1992 grant, a 1991-1993 grant, a 1998-2000 grant, a 2000-2003 grant and  a 2003-2005 grant from the Russell Sage Foundation; and during the 1992-1993 academic year was also a Russell Sage Foundation “Visiting Scholar.”


And, coincidentally, the MacArthur Foundation, on whose board former Columbia Provost and former Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Steele has sat since 2008, also gave Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Edin a 2009-2014 MacArthur Foundation grant and a 2014-2015 MacArthur Foundation grant (at the same time MacArthur Foundation grant recipient Edin was sitting next to MacArthur Foundation board member Steele on the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees).


In addition, Trustee Edin has also received a 2019-2021 grant from U.S. Multi-Billionaire Oligarch Bill Gates’s Gates Foundation, while sitting on the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees (around the same time the Russell Sage Foundation, itself, received a tax-exempt “contribution” of over $1.3 million from the Gates Foundation).


Russell Sage Foundation Trustees David Laibson and Hazel Rae Markus also received grants from the Russell Sage Foundation in the years before they joined the “philanthropic” foundation’s board of trustees. Trustee Laibson was given a “charitable” Russell Sage Foundation grant in 2010; while Trustee Markus received a 1998 to 2000 grant, a 2000 to 2003 grant, a 2000 grant and a 2002 to 2004 grant from the Russell Sage Foundation and was its 2018-2019 “Margaret Olivia Sage Visiting Scholar,” before becoming a Russell Sage Foundation trustee.


In addition, a 2016 to 2018 MacArthur Foundation “charitable” grant was given to Trustee Markus by the MacArthur Foundation, when former Columbia Provost and MacArthur Foundation board member Steele and MacArthur Foundation board member Martha Minow both also sat together on the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees.


And, coincidentally, when current Columbia Provost Katznelson was still a Russell Sage Foundation trustee, the current chair of the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees (who received $11,000 from the Russell Sage Foundation between Sept. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019 for sitting on its board), Michael Jones-Correa, was a 1998-1999 “Visiting Scholar” of the Russell Sage Foundation; while the Russell Sage Foundation’s current president and trustee (whose photograph and bio are posted on Columbia’s “Columbia World Project” website page), Sheldon Danziger, was a 2002-2003 “Visiting Scholar” of the Russell Sage Foundation, whose 1993, 2007, 2009 and 2013 books that he edited were also published—by the “philanthropic” and “non-profit” Russell Sage Foundation.


(end of part 7. To be continued). (This article was first posted on the Upper West Side Patch website). 


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Columbia University Provost Katznelson's Russell Sage Foundation Connection: Part 6

 

19th-Century U.S. Robber Baron Jay Gould's business partner, Russell Sage--from whose inherited wealth Russell Sage Foundation's endowment was obtained.

Prior to sitting on the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees for ten years—between 1992 and 2002—and being the chair of this foundation’s board between 1999 and 2002, the Columbia provost who failed to immediately agree to meet the demands of the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW 2110 union, during its 2021 strike at the Upper West Side university, Ira Katznelson, was a Russell Sage Foundation “Visiting Scholar” during the 1991-1992 academic year, before joining its board.


And, coincidentally, before joining the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees in 2010 and becoming its chair, until a few years ago, a former Columbia provost and Columbia professor of psychology, MacArthur Foundation board member Claude M. Steele, was given five “charitable” grants, totaling over $1 million, by the “philanthropic” Russell Sage Foundation between 1993 and 2003—when current Columbia Provost Katznelson sat on the foundation’s board of trustees for nine of these same years.


Among the tax-exempt “charitable” grants former Russell Sage Foundation Trustee and former Columbia Provost Steele received between 1993 and 2003 from the Columbia-linked Russell Sage Foundation were the following: a $420,000 grant to study “stereotype vulnerability and academic performance: an intervention;” a $14,000 grant to do “a field test of `wise’ learning strategies;” a $30,000 grant to study “stereotype threat and academic achievement: an intervention;” a $350,000 grant to study “from diversity to community;” and a $221,382 grant to study “models of diversity and social identity threat as determinants of successful diversity.”


And, in 2022, the former provost of institutionally racist Columbia University, long-time member of the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation board of directors and former chair of the “philanthropic” Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees, Professor Steele, will, coincidentally, now become a Russell Sage Foundation “Visiting Scholar”—who is apparently eligible to be provided with “salary support up to 50 percent of their academic year salary (up to a maximum of $125,000 for a full term),” according to this foundation’s website.


Yet “self-dealing” was defined in Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary in 1983 as “financial dealing that is not at arm’s length” and “arm’s length” was defined, by the same dictionary, as “a distance discouraging personal contact or familiarity” and “the condition or fact that the parties to a transaction are independent.”


Besides also being a former chair of the Russell Sage Foundation board and the same foundation’s 2019-2020 “Olivia Sage Scholar,” current Columbia Provost Katznelson has also been sitting since 2008 on the board of directors and executive committee of the Social Science Research Council—which was “created by the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations, with additional funds from Julius Rosenwald and Russell Sage foundations,” according to Professor Joan Roelofs’s Foundations and Public Policy.  And, according to Professor Roelofs’s 2003 book, the Social Science Research Council was created, in part, “to distribute research funds lightly laundered of the Rockefeller and Carnegie stains.”


So, not surprisingly, besides sitting on the Social Science Research Council’s executive committee, Columbia Provost and 2019-2020 Russell Sage Foundation "Olivia Sage Scholar” Katznelson has been sitting on the Rockefeller Archives Center’s board of trustees since 2013, as well; while Russell Sage Foundation Trustee and MacArthur Foundation board member Martha Minow has also, not surprisingly, been sitting on the “philanthropic” Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation’s board of trustees since June 2020.


(end of part 6. To be continued.) (This article was first posted on the Upper West Side Patch website).


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Columbia University Provost Katznelson's Russell Sage Foundation Connection: Part 5

Russell Sage Foundation headquarters building at 112 East 64th Street in Manhattan.

Columbia University Provost and 2019-2020 Russell Sage Foundation “Olivia Sage Scholar” Ira Katznelson, who failed to immediately agree to meet the demands of the Graduate Workers of Columbia [GWC-UAW 2110] in that union’s three-week 2021 strike at the Upper West Side university, was the chair of the “philanthropic” Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees between 1999 and 2002. In addition, a former Columbia provost, Claude M. Steele, chaired the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees until a few years ago; and a former dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and current Columbia journalism school professor, Nicholas Lemann, is also currently the vice-chair of the “non-profit” Russell Sage Foundation’s board of trustees.


But according to the “Conflict of Interest Policy” of the Russell Sage Foundation, “the Foundation may not approve or engage in…any arrangement that would constitute an act of `self-dealing.’” Yet in 2014, four years after Macarthur Foundation board member and former Columbia Provost Steele became a Russell Sage Foundation trustee in 2010 and two years before MacArthur Foundation board member Martha Minow became a Russell Sage Foundation trustee in 2016, the Russell Sage Foundation received and accepted a $350,000 tax-exempt “charitable” grant from the MacArthur Foundation “to research the cause and consequences of increasing social, economic, and political inequality.”


In response to an email query asking if the MacArthur Foundation awarded any grants to the Russell Sage Foundation between 2010 and 2020, when either MacArthur Foundation board member Martha Minow or MacArthur Foundation board member Claude M. Steele were also Russell Sage Foundation trustees—although, according to the Russell Sage Foundation’s “Conflict of Interest Policy,” the “Foundation may not approve or engage in…any arrangement that would constitute an act of `self-dealing.’”?, Russell Sage Foundation President Sheldon Danziger, in an Apr. 2, 2021 email to this writer, replied:


“It is not self-dealing for charitable foundations to collaborate with each other in awarding grants to third parties in furtherance of their respective charitable and educational missions. Self-dealing involves the use of foundation assets to benefit insiders to the foundation such as trustees and officers.


“The suggestion that it was self-dealing for the MacArthur Foundation to award a grant to RSF simply because an individual served on the boards of both foundations is fundamentally incorrect. The funds were granted to faculty researchers for social science research following a rigorous process of review.


“Since I became President of RSF in 2013, I have actively sought to collaborate with other foundations that have similar research interests in order to fund third party research that advances our respective missions.


“The RSF trustees do not initiate these co-funding proposals to other foundations, do not review them in advance of their submission (if at all) and do not derive any financial or other benefit from them.


“As I understand, the grant from the MacArthur Foundation was not approved at one of their board meetings because MacArthur program staff have authority to make certain awards without trustee approval. As a result there was no self-dealing and no conflict of interest.”


The “philanthropic” MacArthur Foundation (on whose board of directors former Columbia Provost Steele has sat since 2008) also, coincidentally, gave over $8.1 million in tax-exempt “charitable” grants to Columbia University between 2008 and 2020, including over $4 million in grants during the 2011 to 2020 period when MacArthur Foundation board member Steele also sat next to former Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Dean and current J-School Professor Lemann on the “philanthropic” Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees.


For example, the MacArthur Foundation gave a $230,000 grant to Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism (when the Russell Sage Foundation’s current board of trustees vice-chair Lemann was still Columbia’s journalism school dean) “to study the online distribution efforts of magazines” in 2008. And when Lemann was still the dean of Columbia’s journalism school (and, along with MacArthur Foundation board member Steele, now a member of the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees), the MacArthur Foundation also gave Columbia’s journalism school a $35,000 grant in 2013 “to support the Columbia Journalism Review, for a project on understanding the news consumption habits of young adults.”


In addition, when MacArthur Foundation board members Steele and Minow both sat alongside the former dean of Columbia’s journalism school on the Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees between 2016 and 2020, the MacArthur Foundation gave a grant of $450,000 to Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism “to study how journalism and independent publishing are affected by the distribution of news content via social media channels” in 2016; and it gave an additional $850,000 tax-exempt  grant to Columbia’s journalism school “in support of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism” in 2018.


Other “charitable” grants given to Columbia since former Columbia Provost and former Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees chair Steele has been sitting on the MacArthur Foundation board have included: a grant of $3,625,000 in 2010 to Columbia’s School of Public Health “to support the research network of an Aging Society;” a grant of $50,000 in 2012 to Columbia University “to support the summer workshop on Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy;” a grant of $500,000 in 2013 to Columbia’s School of Public Health; a grant of $10,000 in 2014 to Columbia “to support the summer workshop on Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy;” a grant to $300,000 in 2015 to Columbia for “its international studies forum; “a grant of $50,000 in 2016 to Columbia “for the summer workshop on Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy;” and a tax-exempt “charitable” grant of $1,750,000 to Columbia University’s Department of Sociology “in support of the executive session on the future of justice policy as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge.”


(end of part 5. To be continued). (This article was first posted on the Upper West Side Patch website).  

 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Columbia University Provost Katznelson's Russell Sage Foundation Connection: Part 4

 

How U.S. Robber Baron Jay Gould and business partner, Russell Sage, became rich from owning U.S. railroads in 19th-century.

The Russell Sage Foundation, whose board of trustees Columbia Provost and 2019-2020 Russell Sage Foundation “Olivia Sage Scholar” Ira Katznelson (who failed to immediately agree to meet the demands of the Graduate Workers of Columbia [GWC-UAW 2110] in the union's 2021 strike at that Upper West Side university) chaired between 1999 and 2002, has a “Conflict of Interest Policy” posted on its website.


And according to this “Conflict of Interest Policy”, among “the requirements” governing “the activities” of its Trustees, the Trustees “may not be Visiting Scholars, Principal Investigators of a funded project, Authors/Editors of a Foundation book, or compensated participant in a funded project;” and “the Foundation may not approve or engage in any…arrangement that would constitute an act of `self-dealing.’” In addition, in an Apr. 2, 2021 email to this writer, Russell Sage Foundation President Sheldon Danziger stated the following:


“The Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees has a robust Conflict of Interest Policy and a Conflict of Interest Committee to ensure that the Foundation serves its mission to strengthen the methods, data and theoretical core of social sciences in order to better understand societal problems and develop informed responses. The Foundation and Committee take seriously any conflicts of interest and address them consistent with New York law and the laws and regulations governing exempt operating foundations.”

 

Yet, according to the CV that Russell Sage Foundation Trustee and Yale University Professor Jennifer Richeson posted on the internet, the Russell Sage Foundation gave her a grant of $163,531 to study “Sociostructural and psychological factors supporting the misperception of racial economic equality” in 2020-2021; although Professor Richeson has been sitting on the Columbia University-linked Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees since 2019.


In response to an email query asking why a grant of $163,551 was apparently awarded by the Russell Sage Foundation to Russell Foundation Trustee Richeson in 2020-2021 for a funded project, if, according to the foundation’s “Conflict of Interest Policy”, Trustees “may not be Visiting Scholars, Principal Investigators of a funded project, Author/Editors of a Foundation book, or compensated participant in a funded project” and “the Foundation may not approve or engage in any…arrangement that would constitute an act of `self-dealing’”, Russell Sage Foundation President Danziger, in his Apr. 2, 2021 email, replied:


“You have only quoted part of the Russell Sage Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy. The Policy provides that trustees `may not be…Principal Investigators of a funded project…unless such activity was initiated prior to his or her appointment’ as a trustee. The grant to Jennifer Richeson was initiated before she was invited to join or elected to the Board and was awarded without any input from her whatsoever.


“Furthermore, Ms. Richeson is not the Principal Investigator (PI) on the grant but a co-PI and receives no salary support under the grant. The proposal received very high reviews during the roughly six-month review process involved in approving such grants (which involves input from a panel of expert, independent evaluators), and the Board approved the proposal without the input or participation of Ms. Richeson. As a result, there was no conflict of interest, no financial benefit to Ms. Richeson, and no-self-dealing.”


Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Richeson was also a Russell Sage Foundation “Visiting Scholar” in 2004, a member of a Russell Sage Foundation Working Group between 2010 and 2014 and a member of a Russell Sage Foundation Advisory Committee between 2016 and 2019; before joining the foundation’s board of trustees in 2019.


And, in addition to Trustee Richeson being given the $163,531 grant by the Russell Sage Foundation in 2020 (in which the Russell Sage trustee is described as a “Co-Principal Investigator” with M. Kraus PI, according to this trustee’s posted CV), Trustee Richeson was previously given a grant by the “philanthropic” Russell Sage Foundation of $197,524 between 2002 and 2005 to study “intergroup contact: interpersonal and situational influence of dyadic interactions;” a grant of $174,953 between 2013 and 2014 to study “public views about inequality, opportunity and redistribution: evidence from media coverage and experimental inquiry;” and a grant of $114,316 between 2015 and 2018 to study “inequality, diversity and working-class attitudes.”


Besides receiving all this “charitable” grant money from the tax-exempt “philanthropic” Russell Sage Foundation since 2002, Russell Sage Foundation Trustee Richeson was also given a $500,000 individual “genius grant” by the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation in 2007. And, coincidentally, a former Columbia provost and former Russell Sage Foundation board of trustees chair and longtime trustee, Claude M. Steele, and a current Russell Sage Foundation trustee, Martha Minow, have been sitting on the MacArthur Foundation board of directors, since 2008 and 2012, respectively.


(end of part 4. To be continued). (This article was first posted on the Upper West Side Patch website)