What is the best model for thinking about this lack of higher ed reporting?

The Education Department opened investigations into Harvard and Yale as part of a continuing review that it says has found U.S. universities failed to report at least $6.5 billion in foreign funding from countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, according to department materials viewed by The Wall Street Journal…

The department described higher-education institutions in the U.S., in a document viewed by the Journal, as “multi-billion dollar, multi-national enterprises using opaque foundations, foreign campuses, and other sophisticated legal structures to generate revenue.”

…Universities are required to disclose to the Education Department all contracts and gifts from a foreign source that, alone or combined, are worth $250,000 or more in a calendar year. Though the statute is decades old, the department only recently began to vigorously enforce it.

Officials accused schools of actively soliciting money from foreign governments, companies and nationals known to be hostile to the U.S. and potentially in search of opportunities to steal research and “spread propaganda benefitting foreign governments,” according to the document.

In addition, while the department said it has found foreign money generally flows to the country’s richest universities, “such money apparently does not reduce or otherwise offset American students’ tuition costs,” the document said.

Here is the full WSJ story.


They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The Bourbons.

Clearly the smart strategy is to flood to zone with BS, attack your attackers, and stonewall subpoenas.

Barr went to Columbia, alas, but I'll bet they've still got some friendly alumni in their rolodex's.

Clearly the smart strategy is to flood to zone with BS

That's just what Adam Schiff did.

Given the sheer amount of money ivy league college get, they could probably make tuition free tomorrow without batting an eye. They don't largely to, in their eyes, keep out the riffraff.

No, to keep IN the riffraff! :-)

Anybody remember the financial aid cartel?

Why should this solicitation effort surprise anyone?

Recruiting Saudi students at full price is corruption because all students are stealing knowledge even if they pay for the campus costs and labor costs (instructors)?

Funding satellite campuses of Ivies in the Emerites is theft, and thus corrupt?

So, why aren't "enterprise zones" considered corrupt intellectual property theft? Eg, Texas is trying to steal the IP created by California big government tax and spend policies, like free tuition at California schools half a century ago?

You seem to be missing the point of the post. These institutions have a legal requirement to disclose their funding from foreign sources, but the universities, the foreign governments, or both are working in ways that hides those sources from our government. The implication is that foreign states are trying to buy access to research that they would not otherwise be allowed to have.

Harvard and Yale need to lead the effort to make the top 100 private universities tuition free for students from middle class families. So they should stop accepting donations and direct their donors to funding endowment specifically for tuition like Bloomberg did with Johns Hopkins and what UT-Austin did with its fracking windfall.

Yet again, what's the middle class got to do with the price of fish?

Tuition is extremely stupid...what 18 year old has $200k lying around?

Thanks to the civic-minded titans of wall street, many 18 year olds have access to $200k.

Harvard is free for anyone whose family makes less than $65k per year.

Effort led. Now we just need internet commenters with a willingness to do a simple Google search.

No it isn't. Something is only free if it is available.

Only 2% (approximately) of those who apply and qualify for free Harvard get to go.

Of those actually interested in attending at that price, and who qualify, 0% (rounded) can go.

I know, that is why Harvard and Yale need to lead the effort to make the top 100 private universities tuition free for students from middle class families.

The US money goes to entitlements and boomer pensions. Everyone is scrambling for money, the unions are on a rampage in California, PGE is extracting much higher deposits and tither payment schedules. The new QE program is robbing the private sector of liquidity.

Our Swamp is bankrupt, it is going to be a very painful hunt for the funds to cover some 10 trillion in boomer mismanagement. All the boomer politicians are exiting the scene.

Talk to AOC, it seems the boomers have left her and her constituents with the bill. Unfortunately for the boomers who want debt service paid to protect their pensions, AOC and her folks never voted for any of the money losing programs, she would be a fool to sign on to any budget at all until the boomers clear the air.

On the plus side, mcmansions are going to be selling for dimes on the dollars pretty soon. Millennials can buy an entire block, and sleep in a different basement every night.

McMansions go to the new Chinese immigrants, the ones smart enough to see through the horse manure Swamp government we have had for forty years. Boomers will find a way to screw the kids, that is their aim they have been running this scam since 1972, then they discovered their parents running the same scam.

The simple question, and the question that has trased the entire science of economics is why do economists lie about this, everytime, generation to generation, each scum bucket group of them running the scam. In the last forty yearfs there has never been an economists (other than Milt) who has looked at this from history and pointed out that continual scam economists run? Why is that?

I know the answer, it has something to do with abstract tree.

Goes back to marx and the awaiting of Godot. The scam he generated twas that the revolution is the outcome, but Karl mark was an unmitigaled liar.

The problem is the previous generation begins the scam when, looking back, their blunders become obvious. The next generation, having never voted for any of the blunders only see blunders, looking back. This cycle repeats, each generation of economists.

She was my most brilliant student. I knew she would win the Bates prize and go on to even bigger things.

"Though the statute is decades old, the department only recently began to vigorously enforce it."

One of the nice things about Trump, if such a thing can be said at all, is that all these hidden powers the Presidency has now comes to the fore. To give a short list, the unilateral ability to declare trade war, order assassinations, set travel bans, use foreign governments to spy domestically, set arbitrary quarantine, and intervene all over the economy. The left lacks a backbone as usual while the right is in zombie mode in search of a brain. Nobody seems to make any one of a million constitutional issues this administration continually tests. So now we reap the results of these "hidden gotcha" powers for political gains. I'm sure Trump is very worried that Harvard is taking too much Saudi money. Or not.

It might have something to do with this:


And the speech here.


It seems to be a policy from the State Department to keep an eye on foreign, particularly Chinese money purchasing influence.

It was probably triggered by this incident:


The Saudis are probably just buying favorable coverage or at least silence on their despicable human rights abuses, just as they spray money on Muslim clerics to silence criticism of their war in Yemen, amongst other things.

We have laws against foreign ownership of the press or foreign political contributions, it’s well pas time these other attack vectors were closed. If that shrinks Harvard administrators’ caviar and cocaine budget, so be it.

So, Saudis staying at Trump hotels are simply buying Trumps approval of their horrid violations of religious liberty? Eg, executing Christians practicing their faith.

Who knew you could buy influence at $350 a night?

The general rule is if Democrats, their media, and assorted left-wing squids are upset over something, something good for America just happened.

This comment by DtheB might be the closest to the truth. As a failed law school student, I can tell you that indeed the prosecution typically wants publicity once in a while, hence they persecute the rich (like myself) and in general try and get in the news.

The key sentence in the OP is this one: "Universities are required to disclose to the Education Department all contracts and gifts from a foreign source that, alone or combined, are worth $250,000 or more in a calendar year. Though the statute is decades old, the department only recently began to vigorously enforce it."

Ask yourself: if the statute is not enforced, don't the Ivy League schools deserve a mere slap on the wrist? Akin to speeding 66 mph in a 65 mph zone?

Does the Saudis paying $50,000 in tuition, fees, etc, for each of five Saudi students represent money laundering to hide a $250,000 contract?

Certainly, if the Secretary of State was accepting hundreds of millions of Qatari dollars for her foundation while actively subverting various federal record-keeping requirements, a university ought to feel justified in having done the same things.

No. I would say one should look at the standards of ethics the schools have published regarding their students and apply that standard. In this case I'm pretty sure, unless they have some good evidence they were actually unaware of the rule, their failure to abide by the rules should be treated as the willful violation of that rule.

>Akin to speeding 66 mph in a 65 mph zone?

Or more like the Logan Act? Or maybe FARA registrations?

We'd all be a lot more free if ancient and/or unenforced laws/regulations would automatically and officially expire.

What is the best model for thinking about this lack of higher ed reporting?

Well, higher education is run by people bereft of patriotism and suffused with arrogance. They look down on their countrymen and they think the law only applies to them when they need an excuse to serve up to some party complaining about the usual gross and asinine fiduciary failures to which higher education is given.

Aaah, they're just a bunch of profit maximizers, like the rest of us! :-)

Is Harvard unpatriotic to the US or Saudi Arabia when teaching Saudis law which includes UN human rights, US Constitutional law, theory based on Smith, Locke, et al on natural law, rights, etc? When exposing Saudis to mixed gender environments, people constantly acting immorally by engaging in sexual activity between men and women, between women and women, men and men, like dressing immodestly, kissing, flirting, entering private rooms together?

Is teaching Western Civ to Saudis unpatriotic?

If Saudis adopt human rights values of Western Civ, is that unpatriotic theft of US IP, given Trump backers think the US invented Western Civ.

I'm pretty sure you're attacking higher ed from a conservative perspective of "those coastal elites", but realistically, the administration and management of higher ed is just like a corporate management anywhere else. The fact that there are students and teaching taking place is of no real consequence to them, as they know money is made off of R&D, partnerships, and endowments. They seek out investors and hide profits from taxing bodies the same way as any corporation.

foreign governments, companies and nationals known to be hostile to the U.S. and potentially in search of opportunities to steal research and “spread propaganda benefitting foreign governments,”

The most powerful country in the history of the world is completely paranoid when any jerkwater nation fails to genuflect and adopt every position that the Yankees hold. Of course the guys with big guns and big plans aren't really worried about a fleet of sampans cruising up the Mississippi to capture Clinton, Iowa. They want all their citizens to know that it's a dangerous world out there and only by lavishing money and power on them will the country be saved from disaster.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that your quoted statement will never apply to our greatest ally and friend in the middle east.

The better question is: why do we have a federal Education Department in the first place? I thought education was a matter of individual, local, or state jurisdiction...and nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. Oh, wait, a conservative is in charge now, so it's okay.

Just 3 days old: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/betsy-devos-budget-proposal-slashes-education-department-in-half

The best model is that the U.S. is going full on isolationist?

Let's see, perhaps this ties back to the story of Lieber's arrest as well as the Thousand Talents program and various efforts China has taken to counteract brain drain, invest in human capital, and build a competing university system.

Recent news stories like this make me suspect that universities and scientists are being treated more as issues of national security in similar ways that the tech industry is. And after all, the funding often comes from defense agencies. It seems plausible that the US could have short-term success at this objective.

The lack of competition that top US institutions see from comparable institutions globally has probably allowed them to become home to increasing amounts of rent-seeking and other similar behavior. In the big picture, some competition and federal pressure could end up being a good thing. Perhaps there is some danger of expropriation of academics as well.

Why would the Education Department want to look too closely at the nation's top universities anyway? Those used to be the pride of America, way above scrutiny.

This is about domestic politics, not foreign (i.e., Chinese) influence at the elite colleges. Apple sold out America long ago, yet Apple executives were greeted by Republicans in Congress as heroes when the executives appeared before Congress. What Republicans don't like about elite colleges is the diversity culture they supposedly promote; according to Republicans, the real threat to America is from black and brown Americans not from the yellow Chinese. Indeed, Republican-controlled state legislatures are passing laws guaranteeing the right of right-wing provocateurs to insult black and brown people on college campuses. At the national level, the 2017 Trump tax cut included tax increases on college endowments for both compensation of highly paid employees and endowments considered too large (i.e., the endowments at Harvard and Yale). The right-wing provocateurs deserve protection while the endowments deserve punishment for indirectly contributing to the diversity culture by providing scholarships to black and brown people.

The best model is the general one. It should not look only at education. It should look at larger changes in the world.

Post world war II, the United States was rich and confident, and pretty much funded and exported its ideas without competition.

From my point of view a richer world, with catch-up growth by WWII losers and everyone else, has brought an unanticipated consequence. Now the United States is not alone in having ideas and having money with which to export them.

This puts us in a harder spot. Perhaps we didn't need to have a hard commitment to our values and virtues, because history was on our side. Everything was an easier sell. Home and abroad.

So you have to ask yourself, when the foreign "rich and less virtuous" are pushing their ideas, how will you respond? Will you accept their checks because that is now the easy path? Or will you stand for traditional American values and virtue?

"So you have to ask yourself, when the foreign "rich and less virtuous" are pushing their ideas, how will you respond?"

Maybe we should strike "foreign" from this sentence.

And stipulate that the foreign-virtuous are still good.

In a global economy, I accept that businesses will pursue their interests ahead of any city, state or nation. But I'm terribly disturbed to see this same pattern at universities, hospitals, etc. I understand that they are chasing money to finance their growth goals. But I rarely see how these growth goals enhance the universities and hospitals in terms of what should be their actual goals.

Many people in high office and business CEOs graduated from elite universities. These institutions have a lot of friends in high places.

China has already 'bought' show biz, as in no one from show biz (this include sports stars, sports is show biz) would say boo about the chinese if the chinese did something dastardly. Wall Street will probably join them, they're opening their securities market to foreigners soon, and American financial types will probably dominate securities trading.

It seems that the chinese are trying to make it impossible for American university types to say boo about them also, though it looks like that's not going as smoothly like it has in show biz. All this stuff is pushback.

It looks like a pretty comprehensive plan to stifle criticism of themselves from anyone who might have a lot of twitter followers in the US.

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