Intercollegiate Studies Institute

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), is non-profit conservative educational organization. Their state purpose is to "instill an understanding of and appreciation" of "Limited Government, Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, The Rule of Law, Free-Market Economy, and (Judeo-Christian) Traditional Values." In 2017 they spent a plurality of their budget on "national student journalism." ISI is based in Delaware and was founded by Frank Chodorov with William F. Buckley, Jr. in 1953 to "identify the best and the brightest college students and to nurture in these future leaders the American ideal of ordered liberty."[1]

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is an associate member of the State Policy Network.

News and Controversies

After Fighting Bailouts, Right Wing Groups Apply for PPP Loans

In May 2020, after signing a letter urging the federal government not to bail out state and local governments because "'bailing out' the states would be harmful to taxpayers, federalism, and ultimately the states themselves,” it was discovered by CMD investigative reporting that the groups urging congress to refrain from these bailouts had taken up to $5.4 million in PPP loans. Nancy MacLean, a professor of history at Duke University and author, states in response to these loans, “How can organizations that have worked to cripple effective government action on matters of broad popular support—including safeguarding public health in the COVID crisis—take our tax dollars when it comes to continuing their operations? What’s wrong with this picture?”[2]

Fighting COIVD-19 Bailouts in Ohio

In May 2020, After numerous states began to feel debt crunches from the pandemic, many right-wing groups signaled they wanted state and local municipalities to deal with the issue themselves instead of the federal government intervening. In a letter addressed to Congress, numerous groups, including Intercollegiate Studies Institute, urged Congress to reject state and local bailouts. [3]

"The most influential racist you’ve never heard of" is an ISI member

William H. Regnery II has been called "the most influential racist you’ve never heard of." Buzzfeed News published an article about Regnery II being the founder of the National Policy Institute, "which became a nerve center of the alt-right. In 2011, Regnery hired Richard Spencer, the charismatic speaker widely credited with coining that term, to be the NPI’s president and director." [4] According to Buzzfeed News, "Regnery went on to study political science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he joined a conservative students group called the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, sometimes known as ISI. On its website, ISI says it “was there when the American conservative movement started sixty years ago.”" [4]


ISI claims that it has representatives "at over 900 colleges, and with more than 50,000 ISI student and faculty members on virtually every campus in the country."[1]

ISI organizes educational lectures and meetings on campus and "offers graduate fellowships to aspiring college teachers and circulates more than half a million copies annually of major publications." It also published approximate 20 books a year.

ISI also has an extensive campus reach through its support of the Collegiate Network through which, according to its website, ISI "administers a network of nearly 80 independent student newspapers at colleges across the country. Member papers of the Collegiate Network are eligible to receive technical and financial assistance as well as training opportunities through dedicated conferences and internships at national publications." [2]

"Annually ISI selects 50 outstanding undergraduates to participate in the ISI Honors Program. These fellowships include a weeklong summer conference, an ongoing mentoring relationship in a chosen field, a library of ISI books, and a special career development conference," it website states.

"ISI administers a network of nearly 80 independent student newspapers at colleges across the country. Member papers of the Collegiate Network are eligible to receive technical and financial assistance as well as training opportunities through dedicated conferences and internships at national publications.

In a speech to the Heritage Foundation [date unknown], the former ISI President, T. Kenneth Cribb Jr, stated "We must...provide resources and guidance to an elite which can take up anew the task of enculturation. Through its journals, lectures, seminars, books and fellowships, this is what ISI has done successfully for 36 years. The coming of age of such elites has provided the current leadership of the conservative revival. But we should add a major new component to our strategy: the conservative movement is now mature enough to sustain a counteroffensive on that last Leftist redoubt, the college campus...We are now strong enough to establish a contemporary presence for conservatism on campus, and contest the Left on its own turf. We plan to do this by greatly expanding the ISI field effort, its network of campus-based programming." [3]

In a Speech in 1996 Cribb optimistically reviewed the impact of groups such as ISI, the Young America's Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, the Claremont Institute and the Acton Institute. "...An infrastructure now exists that was but a dream even three decades ago. Scholars, books, journals, seminars, reprints, tapes, fellowships, and similar resources are now available in abundance to provide intellectual substance for young minds. The plenitude is so great that the main problem is organizing what is available and bringing it to bear where needed," he said. [4]

Ties to the State Policy Network

ISI is an Associate Member of the State Policy Network. SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and the United Kingdom. As of April 2023, SPN's membership totals 163. Today's SPN is the tip of the spear of far-right, nationally funded policy agenda in the states that undergirds extremists in the Republican Party. SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that the revenue of the combined groups was some $80 million, but a 2022 analysis of SPN's main members IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that the combined revenue is over $152 million.[5] Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, the Center for Media and Democracy's in-depth investigation, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-backed corporate agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders.[6]

In response to CMD's report, SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told national and statehouse reporters that SPN affiliates are "fiercely independent." Later the same week, however, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer caught Sharp in a contradiction. In her article, "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?," the Pulitzer-nominated reporter revealed that, in a recent meeting behind closed doors with the heads of SPN affiliates around the country, Sharp "compared the organization’s model to that of the giant global chain IKEA." She reportedly said that SPN "would provide 'the raw materials,' along with the 'services' needed to assemble the products. Rather than acting like passive customers who buy finished products, she wanted each state group to show the enterprise and creativity needed to assemble the parts in their home states. 'Pick what you need,' she said, 'and customize it for what works best for you.'" Not only that, but Sharp "also acknowledged privately to the members that the organization's often anonymous donors frequently shape the agenda. 'The grants are driven by donor intent,' she told the gathered think-tank heads. She added that, often, 'the donors have a very specific idea of what they want to happen.'"[7]

A set of coordinated fundraising proposals obtained and released by The Guardian in early December 2013 confirm many of these SPN members' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes.[8]

Ties to the Koch Family

"The ISI Speakers Bureau is a great resource for students who wish to bring scholars to campus for public lectures or debates. With over 160 professors from across the country and across the disciplines of the liberal arts, the ISI Speakers Bureau is unmatched in its breadth and quality."[9] Koch affiliated speakers are included in the ISI bureau.

Students affiliated with ISI also have Koch ties, some as having internships with Koch institutions.[10]


ISI is not required to disclose its funders but major foundation supporters can be found through their IRS filings. Here are some known contributors:

Other notable donators include:

  • Abbvie Foundation: $60 (2018-2019)
  • Adolph Coors Foundation: $50,000 (2021)
  • Albert & Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation: $30,000 (2020-2021)
  • Allegheny Foundation: $250,000 (2020-2021)
  • Aloysius Foundation: $10,000 (2020-2021)
  • Amaturo Family Foundation: $500 (2020)
  • American Endowment Foundation: $15,500 (2021)
  • Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation: $80,000 (2019-2021)
  • Armstrong Foundation: $117,000 (2018-2021)
  • Bellevue Foundation: $11,0000 (2020-2021)
  • Belz Foundation: $2,450 (2020-2021)
  • Biszantz Charitable Foundation: $100 (2020)
  • Bradley Impact Fund: $131,000 (2018-2021)
  • Briggs Foundation: $300 (2018)
  • Burleigh Family Foundation: $42,000 (2018-2021)
  • California Community Foundation: $425,000 (2018-2021)
  • C And A Johnson Family Foundation: $2,000 (2020)
  • Carson-Myre Charitable Foundation: $85,000 (2019-2021)
  • Casillas Foundation: $15,000 (2018-2020)
  • Edward A. & Catherine L. Lozick Foundation: $2,000 (2020)
  • Ceres Foundation: $27,500 (2018-2021)
  • Charles And Marie Robertson Foundation: $200,000 (2018-2021)
  • Charles D & Frances K Field Fund: $25,000 (2021)
  • Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation: $95,000 (2018)
  • Chase Foundation of Virginia: $15,000 (2018-2021)
  • Colegato Foundation C/O Wipfli Llp (Joanne Alperin): $2,500 (2018-2019)
  • Collegiate Network: $2,445,950 (2019-2021)
  • ​​Community Foundation Of Collier County Inc: $1,000 (2021)
  • Community Foundation Of Sarasota Co Inc: $9,000 (2021)
  • Cornell University Foundation: $30,000 (2020-2021)
  • Dallas Foundation: $10,000 (2019)
  • David And Patricia Caldwell Foundation: $10,000 (2021)
  • David Family Foundation Inc: $25,000 (2018-2021)
  • Dean And Cam Williams Foundation Inc: $5,000 (2017-2019)
  • Diana Davis Spencer Foundation: $600,000 (2019-2021)
  • Dick & Diane May Foundation Inc: $4,000 (2018-2021)
  • Donors Trust: $59,553 (2020-2021)
  • Ed & Ursula Meese Family Foundation: $3,500 (2020-2021)
  • Edgar And Elsa Prince Foundation: $60,000 (2018-2022)
  • Ed Snider Foundation Aka The Snider Foundation: $25,000 (2018)
  • Fidelity Investments: $724,173 (2018-2021)
  • Fletcher Jones Foundation: $8,000 (2019-2021)
  • Fm Kirby Foundation Inc: $240,000 (2020-2021)
  • Frank B And Virginia V Fehsenfeld Charitable Foundation: $1,000 (2018)
  • Frankel Family Charitable Trust: $2,000 (2019)
  • Frankel Family Charitable Trust C/O Steven Frankel: $5,000 (2020-2021)
  • Garvey Kansas Foundation: $39,000 (2018-2021)
  • George E Coleman Jr Foundation: $3,000 (2021)
  • George Edward Durell Foundation: $295,000 (2018-2021)
  • G L Connolly Foundation: $20,000 (2020-2021)
  • Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund: $201,150 (2018-2021)
  • Greater Houston Community Foundation: $17,500 (2020-2021)
  • Hanson Family Foundation: $30,000 (2020-2021)
  • Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation: $2,000 (2018-2019)
  • Hayden Foundation: $1,500 (2019-2021)
  • Helen W Bell Charitable Foundation: $80,000 (2020-2021)
  • Herbold Foundation: $90,000 (2018-2021)
  • Hilda E Bretzlaff Foundation Inc: $32,500 (2021)
  • Holman Foundation Inc: $85,000 (2018-2020)
  • Howdy Doody Good Times Foundation Inc: $5,000 (2021)
  • James Deering Danielson Foundation: $10,000 (2020-2022)
  • J M Foundation: $10,000 (2020)
  • John And Cree Marshall Foundation: $8,000 (2019-2020)
  • John L Loeb Jr Foundation: $5,000 (2021)
  • John William Pope Foundation: $20,000 (2020-2021)
  • Jpmorgan Chase Foundation: $200 (2018-2020)
  • Jw And Ida M Jameson Foundation: $110,000 (2018-2022)
  • Katharine Audrey Webb Foundation: $13,000 (2019-2022)
  • Kickapoo Springs Foundation: $10,000 (2020-2021)
  • Legett Foundation: $10,000 (2020-2021)
  • Lillian S Wells Foundation Inc: $200,000 (2020-2021)
  • Lilly Endowment Inc: $500,000 (2018-2021)
  • Lincoln & Therese Filene Foundation Inc #0706176: $50,000 (2020)
  • Lloyd And Vivian Noble Foundation: $15,000 (2021)
  • Lozick Family Foundation: $5,000 (2021)
  • Lynde And Harry Bradley Foundation: $300,000 (2020-2021)
  • Mckenna Philip M Fdn: $160,000 (2020-2021)
  • Meek Foundation: $2,500 (2021)
  • Michael And Andrea Abraham Foundation: $310,000 (2018-2021)
  • Michael And Andrea Leven Family Foundation: $37,500 (2021)
  • M J Murdock Charitable Trust: $190,000 (2021)
  • Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust Inc: $85,000 (2020-2021)
  • Morse Charitable Foundation Inc: $17,500 (2018-2021)
  • Myosotis Charitable Trust Inc: $9,000 (2018-2021)
  • National Philanthropic Trust: $20,500 (2018)
  • Natl Christian Charitable Fdn Inc: $57,005 (2018-2021)
  • Neal And Jane Freeman Foundation Inc: $16,667 (2020)
  • Negaunee Foundation: $20,000 (2020-2021)
  • Percy Fund: $2,500 (2020)
  • Pierre F And Enid Goodrich Foundation: $140,000 (2018-2021)
  • Pinkerton Foundation: $25,000 (2021)
  • Raymond And Maria Floyd Family Foundation: $1,000 (2021)
  • Reinsch Pierce Family Foundation Inc: $3,000 (2020-2021)
  • Richard And Helen Devos Foundation: $100,000 (2020)
  • Robert & Kathey Anderson Foundation: $14,000 (2018-2022)
  • Robert And Janice Mcnair Foundation D/B/A Mcnair Medical Institute: $50,000 (2020)
  • Robert And Janice Mcnair Foundation Dba Mcnair Medical Institute: $50,000 (2018)
  • Robertson-Finley Foundation: $1,000 (2020)
  • Robertson-Finley Foundation: $1,000 (2021)
  • Rodricks Foundation Inc: $1,300 (2019-2020)
  • Roe Foundation: $60,000 (2020-2021)
  • Roger And Susan Stone Family Foundation C/O Susan Stone: $2,000 (2020)
  • Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation: $70,000 (2018-2020)
  • Sarah Scaife Foundation Incorporated: $1,000,000 (2020-2021)
  • Schwab Charitable Fund: $365,925 (2018-2022)
  • Sims Family Charitable Trust: $2,000 (2018)
  • Sorenson Legacy Foundation: $30,000 (2018)
  • Strake Foundation: $17,500 (2020-2021)
  • Sutton Family Foundation: $6,000 (2020-2021)
  • Ted Muhs Foundation: $2,000 (2018-2019)
  • Ted Muhs Foundation: $2,000 (2020-2021)
  • Thomas W Smith Foundation Inc: $350,000 (2020-2021)
  • Urstadt Conservation Foundation: $5,000 (2019)
  • Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program: $10,450 (2021)
  • Wakefield Family Fund Inc: $1,750 (2018-2022)
  • William & Flora Hewlett Foundation: $135,000 (2020)
  • William A Solemene Charitable Foundation: $7,500 (2020)
  • William H Donner Foundation: $10,000 (2021)
  • Winchester Foundation: $16,000 (2020-2021)
  • Winston-Salem Foundation: $25,000 (2021)
  • Wl Amos Sr Foundation Inc: $1000,000 (2019-2021)
  • Woodford Foundation: $20,000 (2018-2021)
  • Woodhouse Family Foundation: $16,000 (2018-2021)

Core Financials


  • Total Revenue: $7,078,238
  • Total Expenses: $6,195,894
  • Net Assets: $20,049,658


  • Total Revenue: $6,014,026
  • Total Expenses: $5,687,662
  • Net Assets: $17,920,669


  • Total Revenue: $7,946,819
  • Total Expenses: $7,393,836
  • Net Assets: $17,762,020


  • Total Revenue: $7,878,663
  • Total Expenses: $ 7,224,920
  • Net Assets: $17,033,845


  • Total Revenue: $12,460,894
  • Total Expenses: $7,276,782
  • Net Assets: $16,145,553


A full list of ISI staff can be found below[16]:

  • John A. Burtka Iv, President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Spencer Kashmanian, Chief Of Staff
  • Paul Rhein, Vice President, Operations
  • Daniel Mccarthy, Vice President For The Collegiate Network & Modern Age Editor-In-Chief
  • Claire Aguda, Director Of Alumni & Faculty Relations
  • Jon Elordi, Director Of Marketing
  • Marlo Slayback, National Director Of Student Programs
  • Ethan Swain, Director Of Major Gifts
  • Mckay Stangler, Director Of Foundation Relations
  • Callie Erk, Regional Director Of Major Gifts
  • Hannah Rowan, Managing Editor
  • Hannah Sailer, Development Assistant
  • Grace Collins, Social Media Marketer
  • Sasha Von Spakovsky, Alumni Engagement Associate
  • José Sáenz Crespo, Program Operations Manager
  • Tom Sarrouf, Associate Programs Officer
  • Bridget Ruffing, Program Officer
  • Ashley R. Kondracki, Associate Programs Officer
  • Gina Arnold Fake, Social Media Manager
  • Josie Mcdonell, Associate Programs Officer
  • Josh Evans, Program Manager For The Collegiate Network
  • Patti Hubbard, Accounting Associate
  • Raquel Roberts, Office Manager

Former Staff

  • T. Kenneth Cribb Jr is President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. "Mr. Cribb was Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs in the Reagan Administration, serving as President Reagan's top advisor on domestic matters. Earlier in the Administration[,] he held the position of Counselor to the Attorney General. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board from 1989 to 1992. He is President of the Collegiate Network, Inc., an association of independent college newspapers; Vice-President of the Council for National Policy; and Counselor to the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies," his biographical note on the ISI website states. According to the Capital Research Centre, Cribb was paid $292,311 as President in 1988.
  • H. Spencer Masloff, Jr. is Vice-President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. "Mr. Masloff has managed ISI's Office of Development and Fundraising since 1989. Prior to working at ISI, he was Vice-President of marketing and development at Free Congress Foundation where he had also earlier served as director of development," his biographical note on the ISI website states.
  • Jeff J. Cain is Executive Vice President
  • Jeffrey O. Nelson is Vice-President, Publications and serves as publisher of ISI Books, the Institute's publishing imprint. "He was for ten years the editor of The Intercollegiate Review and is currently the editor of The University Bookman. He has edited two collections: Redeeming the Time, by Russell Kirk, and Perfect Sowing: Reflections of a Bookman, by Henry Regnery. He serves as the general editor of the Institute's "Student Guides to the Major Disciplines" series and the "Library of Modern Thinkers","his biographical note on the ISI website states. [5]
  • Sarah Longwell, a public relations employee of lobbyist Rick Berman and the Center for Union Facts, is a press contact on some ISI news releases.
  • J. Bayard Boyle, Jr. is Chairman of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute
  • Alfred S. Regnery is Vice Chairman
  • Merrill S. Moyer is Secretary-Treasurer
  • T. William Boxx Trustee is a Trustee


ISI boasts that "outstanding" members of its alumni include:

  • Richard V. Allen, who according to the website, "was President Reagan's first National Security Adviser following his service as then-Governor Reagan's Chief Foreign Policy Adviser from 1977 to 1980. He had previously served in the Nixon Administration as a senior member of the National Security Council. Today, he is a Senior Fellow at the [Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace]] and serves as an international business consultant in Washington". He is also a member of ISI's Board of Trustees.
  • Edwin J. Feulner Jr is president of the Heritage Foundation. According to the ISI website "during the Reagan Administration, he served in several key posts, including a consultant for domestic policy and on the President's Commission on White House Fellows. In 1989, President Reagan conferred upon him the Presidential Citizen's Medal for his leadership in the conservative movement". Feulner is chairman of the ISI's board of trustees.
  • John F. Lehman Jr "served as Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan and oversaw the build-up of the American naval fleet in the 1980s. Today, he is chairman of J.F. Lehman & Company, a private equity investment corporation," according to the ISI website. "In 2001, Dr. Lehman was appointed to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States," his biographical note states.

Contact Information

Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc.
3901 Centerville Road
P.O. Box 4431
Wilmington, DE 19807-0431
Phone: (800) 526-7022 or (302) 652-4600
Fax: (302) 652-1760
Email: info AT

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings







  • See [6] which cites the original Cribb quote from Ellen Messer-Davidow, "Manufacturing the Attack on Liberalized Higher Education," Social Text, 36 (Fall, 1993), page 47.
  • T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr, "The Founders and the Rising Generation, a speech to The Philadelphia Society Williamsburg, Virginia, November 23, 1996

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 Intercollegiate Studies Institute About organizational website, accessed June 2018
  2. Alex Kotch, "Right-Wing Groups Opposing State and Local Coronavirus Bailouts Take Millions in PPP Loans", Exposed by CMD, July 14, 2020, accessed May 30, 2023.
  3. Alex Kotch, "Koch-Backed Groups Fight to Block Ohio COVID-19 Bailouts, Despite Crushing Pandemic Deficits", Exposed by CMD, July 2, 2020, accessed May 30, 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Aram Roston and Joel Anderson He Spent Almost 20 Years Funding The Racist Right. It Finally Paid Off. Buzzfeed News, July 23, 2017
  5. David Armiak, State Policy Network and Affiliates Raises $152 Million Annually to Push Right-Wing Policies, ExposedbyCMD, September 30, 2022.
  6. Rebekah Wilce, Center for Media and Democracy, EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
  7. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  8. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  9. ISI Speakers organizational website, accessed 2018
  10. ISI student spotlight organizational website, accessed June 2018
  11. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2020 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, 2022.
  12. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2019 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, 2021.
  13. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2018 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, 2020.
  14. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2017 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, 2019.
  15. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2016 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, 2018.
  16. ISI Staff,[1], ISI, Accessed June 2, 2023