Republicans in Congress are planning to turn up the heat on major universities to fully disclose how they receive billions of dollars from shady foreign sources, and explain whether these countries are looking to influence the American college experience with a hefty dose of leftist and anti-Israel propaganda, The Post has learned.
The expected move follows a bombshell report released this past week that shows billions of dollars “from foreign governments, many of which are authoritarian,” including those in the Middle East, are sloshing around the budgets of our elite schools.
The report stated there is a correlation between where the money was spent and campus antisemitic activity.
According to my sources on Capitol Hill, GOP lawmakers also believe these foreign donations are at the heart of the increasingly radical pedagogy at those hallowed universities — a contributing factor in the disgusting displays by student groups at these schools celebrating the brutal Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks against Jews near Gaza.
Why foreign countries like Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates care so much about American higher education is an obvious question. One answer: Plenty of students from those countries attended American universities.
Yet it doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to imagine that places like Qatar and China, in particular, would like to use the college classroom to advance their strategic interests, which don’t really align with our own.
Qatar, for instance, is nominally a US ally, but it also is the home of Hamas’ leadership.
China is, well, China, and that has plenty of GOP lawmakers worried that both countries are using their clout with elite colleges for nefarious means.
“Congress will be putting pressure on universities to show how much money is coming from these types of sources,” said one Wall Street executive involved in the matter.
The House recently advanced legislation for heightened disclosure on foreign contributions to American universities; hearings are a possibility.
What are they getting?
“Lawmakers also want to know what the countries are getting in return for their investment,” the executive added.
The exec says many in Congress believe the universities taking this foreign cash may also be skirting the law.
Colleges are required to disclose the sources of donations that hit $250,000 or more cumulatively.
Yet many don’t, he says, at least not on a timely basis.
Moreover, colleges often don’t provide full information on the donor identities.
The report from the Network Contagion Research Institute on foreign cash flowing to US campuses found that, from 2015 to 2020, “institutions that accepted money from Middle Eastern donors, had, on average, 300% more antisemitic incidents than those institutions that did not.”
It’s not surprising that UPenn — the source of massive antisemitic protests following Oct. 7 — is high on the list of receiving funds from these suspicious sources, but it wasn’t alone.
According to the report: “Eight Ivy League schools were disproportionately represented in the highest-funded institutions from what it called “undocumented” origins.
Among those, “Cornell (2nd) and Harvard (3rd), Yale (6th), Stanford (14th), Columbia (16th) and the University of Pennsylvania (18th) — placed in the top twenty overall.”
Does that funding lead to weaponizing the academic experience to produce antisemitic monsters?
Paul Kamenar, an attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center, lays out a case that it does.
“The money comes into the schools funding professors and their programs that are left-wing as hell,” he tells me.
“Schools get various grants to teach students from a leftist perspective.”
Following the money trail should turn up some interesting results.
Back in 2020, Kamenar’s organization did an amazing deep dive into the funding of a think-tank known as the Penn Biden Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
A “think tank” named after Sleepy Joe Biden is almost comical; what isn’t funny is UPenn’s curious funding source after the center was created: Communist China, the same country that quashes dissent of all kinds, engages in religious persecution and has imperialistic ambitions.
Maybe, but Kamenar says his group’s investigation found some disturbing coincidences.
As millions of dollars of Chinese money flowed to UPenn, Penn Biden began inviting Chinese government officials as speakers to its conferences.
One conference during the early days of COVID glossed over China’s role in the spread and likely creation of the deadly virus that led to a worldwide pandemic, instead bizarrely focusing on Hungary’s allegedly xenophobic reaction to it by restricting Chinese nationals from coming into the country.
Leftism in the guise of academic freedom has been a problem for some time, of course.
For years, universities have degraded courses in Western Civilization, branding them remnants of an educational system run by dead (and racist) white men.
They were replaced by increasingly woke core requirements.
Syracuse University is typical of the radicalizing of the college learning experience.
Its so-called “course requirement” for undergraduate students includes classes in “Magic and Religion,” “Gender in a Globalizing World” and “Popular Culture in the Middle East.”
Try not to laugh when you discuss that course load, but there’s an Orwellian quality to what’s being passed off as an academic experience these days.
Those soft subjects also include brainwashing in leftist, anti-American and anti-Israel dogma, critics say.