‘We think, just given what we’ve seen scratching the surface, there’s a lot there that has gone undetected…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The Department of Education learned in an investigation that six universities broke the law when they did not report the origin of a combined $1.3 billion in foreign money.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ordered an initial investigation after learning that Georgetown University and Texas A&M were receiving undisclosed payments from Qatar, a small oil-rich nation that borders Saudi Arabia, the Washington Examiner reported.
“It is already a reporting requirement for schools to report all foreign contributions,” DeVos said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“From my perspective, it’s a simple requirement: Report all foreign money you get,” she said. “We’re going to continue to raise the flag on this, and we think, just given what we’ve seen scratching the surface, there’s a lot there that has gone undetected.”
Now that the investigation has expanded, the DoE investigation found that Cornell, Rutgers, the University of Maryland and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology accepted undisclosed payments from China, Russia and Qatar, Clarion Project reported.
DoE Deputy General Counsel Reed Rubinstein announced his findings in a letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations with a specific emphasis on China’s malign influence.
“The public lacks an accurate or complete picture of China’s overall spending because U.S. colleges and universities routinely fail to report foreign money (nearly 70% of colleges and universities failed to report in this case),” Rubinstein said. “The Chinese money comes with strings that can compromise academic freedom.”
A separate investigation by the Clarion Project revealed that foreign governments have paid $10 billion to American universities since 2012, including $1.5 billion from Qatar alone.
Qatar sent more than $340 million to Northwestern University to create a relationship between university’s journalism school and Al Jazeera, a state-sponsored media outlet that the Clarion Project describes as the “most influential Islamist extremist propaganda outlet in the world.”
Another report found that Iran funneled money to 30 American and Canadian universities through a front organization named the Alavi Foundation.