Following the Foreign Money

[National Review] Stanley Kurtz - Recent large gifts to American schools originating in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have raised legitimate concerns about foreign influence on American higher education. Through Freedom of Information Act requests and discussions with officials at the U.S. Department of Education, I have obtained a comprehensive list of gifts originating in foreign countries to American colleges and universities. Virginia congressman Frank R. Wolf recently sent a letter of concern to Georgetown University president John J. DeGioia regarding a $20 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal to Georgetown's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (the second largest gift in Georgetown's history). A second $20 million gift from Prince Alwaleed to Harvard University has raised additional concerns. Shortly after 9/11, Prince Alwaleed famously pledged to donate $10 million to the Twin Towers Fund. Yet because the gift was attached to a statement calling on the U.S. to "re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause," Alwaleed's gift was spurned by then-mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Alwaleed clearly means his gifts to shape American views on the Middle East, and there are legitimate grounds for asking whether such gifts might compromise the content of scholarship at Harvard and Georgetown.

2008-04-01 01:00:00

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