Campus Reform | Trump admin investigates after schools get TENS of MILLIONS of dollars from Qatar

Trump admin investigates after schools get TENS of MILLIONS of dollars from Qatar

President Donald Trump's Department of Education is investigating Georgetown University and Texas A&M University.

The schools allegedly have not disclosed foreign financial donations, including tens of millions of dollars from Qatar.

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The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is investigating Georgetown University and Texas A&M University for allegedly failing to disclose foreign financial donations, including tens of millions of dollars from Qatar. 

Federal law mandates colleges and universities disclose foreign donations totaling $250,000 or more, according to AP. The DOE ordered Georgetown and Texas A&M to turn over financial records that span a period of several years.

A Trump administration official told AP that the investigation is part of a larger effort to examine foreign funding of colleges and universities. 

Both Georgetown and Texas A&M have campuses in Qatar and failed to report donations in connection to those programs. In 2018, all of Texas A&M’s $6.1 million in foreign funding and nearly all of Georgetown’s $36 million in foreign funding came from Qatar.

Qatar is an oil-rich nation with past allegations of funding terrorism.

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The decision to fund Georgetown University could be strategic. 

Qatar’s lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. are well-known. With Georgetown, the country establishes influence over a pipeline of potential future U.S. diplomats, as suggested by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Georgetown’s website states that students in the School of Foreign Service can “study with former Secretaries of State” and connect with “diplomats from just about every country, and of course, the seat of the U.S. government.” 

The DOE has also requested financial records pertaining to Russia, China, and Saudia Arabia. Both schools must reveal funding received from Huawei, a Chinese technology company, and Georgetown is being compelled to detail funding from Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company. Both companies are viewed as threats to U.S. national security.

In a statement, Georgetown officials said the school would cooperate with the Department of Education and that it “takes seriously its reporting obligations and provides all information as required by the Department of Education every six months.” 

In a similar statement, Texas A&M said it was “fully cooperating with the inquiry.” 

The Department of Education’s scrutiny comes as U.S. senators have issued national security warnings over Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes on campuses. 

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Campus Reform reached out to scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation for comment on the story but received no response in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @eduneret