Education Department probes foreign gifts to Yale, Harvard


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Education Department is investigating foreign gifts made to Harvard and Yale as part of a broader review of international money flowing to American universities.

The department said Wednesday it is reviewing whether the Ivy League schools potentially failed to report hundreds of millions of dollars in donations and contracts in countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran and China.

Yale released a statement in response to the investigation on Thursday, that reads in part:

“In its notice to Yale, the Education Department correctly states that for four years – 2014 through 2017 – Yale failed to submit required reports on foreign sources of funding. When Yale became aware of this oversight last year, we moved as quickly as possible to address it: in November 2019, Yale submitted to the Education Department all of the required reporting of foreign funding for the missing years. Yale believes its reporting is now current and complete. The Education Department’s Feb. 11 notice asks Yale to provide further information about such funding. Yale is reviewing the Education Department’s request and is preparing a response. Yale takes very seriously the importance of ensuring that funding from foreign sources does not in any way compromise American interests, and it respects the Education Department’s requirements about reporting of such funding.”

Karen Peart, Yale University Director of Media Relations

Yale also pointed out in the statement that the University does not allow any source of funding to put restrictions on its research or teaching.

WEB EXTRA: Read letter to Yale University President Salovey from the U.S. Department of Education

The department previously opened investigations at Georgetown University and Texas A&M as part of a campaign to scrutinize foreign funding and to improve reporting by universities.

Federal law requires U.S. colleges to report contracts and donations from foreign sources totaling $250,000 or more.

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