I'll get back to physics shortly. These two articles (here and here) explain how, in exchange for $1.5M in donations, the Florida State economics department agreed to give the donors veto power over faculty hiring for the donor-supported positions. Moreover, the donors can withdraw the positions if they aren't happy with annual performance reviews of the professors. Wow. I know times are tight, but FSU has clearly decided that they're up for bid. I don't care whether the donors are right-wing or left-wing (hint: they're right wing) or centerist - a university that allows donors direct control over faculty hiring and evaluation is out of its mind. Gee, you think those professors are going to be free to do whatever research they want? Do you think there's going to be pressure on all of the faculty within the department to toe the line rather than risk angering the donors? What a mess. Well, at least it confirms that Texas doesn't have a monopoly on idiocy.
Update: blogger ate this post, and I had to reconstitute it from the cached version on bing (google blew this one all the way around). Clearly the Koch brothers are responsible :-)