This passage was featured in MSU's student newspaper, The Standard:
(University Attorney John) Black said Ashcroft came to speak at the university for less money than he would normally charge.
"He came to help students where he first taught students. That's what I hope doesn't get lost here," Black said.
According to the contract between the Harry Walker Agency and Heartland, Ashcroft agreed to give the speech for $7,500 plus travel expenses. McNiff from the Harry Walker Agency refused to comment.
The contract also said Ashcroft himself held final approval of media coverage.
This contract was signed by Olen Greer, accountancy professor and Heartland board member. Greer could not be reached for comment.
The speech was also funded in part by three student organizations.
College Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom and the Accounting Club contributed $4,000 each. The $12,000 was distributed to the organizations from the Student Organization Funding Allocation Council, according to SOFAC Chair Thomas Lane.
While the university made the right decision in returning its archival copy of the speech after Ashcroft said the recording could only be viewed by current faculty and students, it is troubling that professors and organizations at a public university, which should always be a repository of information for all citizens, should have so easily acquiesced to Ashcroft's terms, especially when it appears public money was spent for Ashcroft's appearance.