The Department of Education released a new report on the findings of the ongoing investigations into failures by U.S. universities to disclose foreign gifts and contracts – a legal requirement under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
The results of the investigations mentioned in the report confirm a Senate subcommittee’s findings that Section 117 reporting by universities is systemically underinclusive and inaccurate, despite the fact that reporting requirements are neither complicated nor burdensome.
For example, Yale University and Case Western Reserve University both simply failed to report any foreign gifts or contracts for years, precisely when both were rapidly expanding their foreign operations and relationships, including relationships with China.
Recently, the Trump administration designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS) as a Communist Party outpost. The designation aims to crack down on Beijing’s influence operations in America. In a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the designation will recognize “CIUS for what it is: an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.”
The Chinese government’s massive influence operations on U.S. college campuses are now getting mainstream media attention due to numerous exposés regarding China’s establishment of over 100 Confucius Institutes on campuses across the country.
The report also highlights the steps taken by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to enforce compliance with Section 117. The Education Department opened 12 compliance investigations, which have resulted in the “disclosure of $6.5 billion in previously unreported foreign money.”
According to Section 117, U.S. universities are specifically required to disclose any foreign donations that have a value of $250,000 or more for a calendar year.
The Department of Education report has numerous other takeaways from the compliance investigations, including:
- The largest, wealthiest and most sophisticated U.S. universities have all received foreign funds. Harvard University alone has received over $1 billion since 2012.
- The report confirms a national security issue presented by the Clarion Project, that governments hostile to the U.S. are seeking to project soft power and that the lack of transparency presents a serious threat to the country’s security and the integrity of its education system.
Clarion Project has reported numerous times on these investigations, as well as on the disclosure discrepancies, as previously unreported funds all of a sudden started showing up in Education Department disclosure reports.
Last year, Clarion Project published a study that found a massive amount of foreign funding to universities comes from foreign governments (and government-tied entities) that run influence operations in the U.S. to try to mold public opinion and policy.
To learn more about how our adversaries are targeting U.S. schools, watch Clarion Project’s new documentary, “Covert Cash: What U.S. Universities Don’t Want You to Know About Their Foreign Funding“: