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Harvard And Yale Under Investigation For Allegedly Underreporting Foreign Funding

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Harvard And Yale Under Investigation For Allegedly Underreporting Foreign Funding

The United States Department of Education has launched an investigation into whether Harvard and Yale universities failed to report foreign funding as required by the law.

What Happened

The education department in a statement on Wednesday said that it suspects that Yale University failed to report at least $375 million in "foreign gifts and contracts" over the last four years.

The department didn't pin a number on Harvard University but said that the institution lacked "appropriate institutional controls over foreign money and has failed to fully report all foreign gifts and contracts as required by law."

The announcement of the investigation follows the arrest of Harvard professor and renowned chemist Charles Liber, who faces charges of lying to federal agencies about his involvement with China's Thousand Talents Plan.

"This is about transparency," the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in the statement.

"If colleges and universities are accepting foreign money and gifts, their students, donors, and taxpayers deserve to know how much and from whom. Moreover, it's what the law requires."

Why It Matters

Devos said that as the department's investigation deepens, they are finding that a majority of the institutions are either underreporting the foreign funding or not reporting anything altogether.

The department's records show that U.S. universities have reported about $6.6 billion foreign funding from Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates since1990, a sum it considers to be "significantly underestimated."

According to the statement, at least $6.5 billion of previously undisclosed funds were reported to the authorities after the education department upped its efforts.

About $3.6 billion of these gifts were reported from a handful of top U.S. institutions, including the universities of Cornell, Yale, Colorado Boulder, Chicago, and Carnegie Mellon, alongside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The universities don't hesitate to solicit funds from governments and organizations that are "known to be hostile to the [U.S.] and may be seeking to project "soft power," steal sensitive and proprietary research and development data and other intellectual property, and spread propaganda benefitting foreign governments," the department alleged.

Posted-In: Department of Education Harvard YaleNews Education Legal General Best of Benzinga

 

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