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Arab Funding of American Universities: Donors, Recipients and Impact

Arab Funding of American Universities: Donors, Recipients and Impact By Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (May 2023): “…Up until 2020, the DoE paid little attention to university compliance, and institutions did not report many of the gifts. That year the DoE began to investigate whether Yale and Harvard were complying with reporting requirements. Earlier, it launched inquiries regarding Cornell, Georgetown, Rutgers, Texas A&M, MIT, and Maryland. The DoE also published a report on the failure of many institutions to abide by the rules. It was especially interested in contributions from China for both security and political reasons, but also highlighted unreported gifts from Arab governments. [see also Outsourced to Qatar – A Case Study of Northwestern University-Qatar]

The DoE found that some of the foreign sources of funding that are hostile to the United States “are targeting their investments (i.e., “gifts” and “contracts”) to project soft power, steal sensitive and proprietary research, and spread propaganda.” The higher education industry’s solicitation of foreign sources, it disclosed, “has not been appropriately or effectively balanced or checked by the institutional controls needed to meaningfully measure the risk and manage the threat posed by a given relationship, donor, or foreign venture.” “There is very real reason for concern,” the report concluded, “that foreign money buys influence or control over teaching and research.” The department expressed particular unease about reported donations listed as anonymous from China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia which totaled more than $1 billion since 2012.”

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