The U.S. Department of Education announced investigations on Wednesday into Harvard and Yale Universities’ compliance with a federal law requiring disclosure of certain foreign gifts and contracts, and alleged that Yale may have failed to report "at least" $375 million in foreign gifts and contracts. The department also said in a press release it was concerned Harvard “may lack appropriate institutional controls over foreign money and has failed to report fully all foreign gifts and contracts as required by law.”
The department previously launched investigations into six other universities -- Cornell, Georgetown, Rutgers and Texas A&M Universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Maryland -- in relation to their disclosure of foreign funding. The department says its enforcement efforts have led to the reporting of $6.5 billion in previously undisclosed foreign funding since July 1.
“Unfortunately, the more we dig, the more we find that too many are underreporting or not reporting at all,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in the press release. “We will continue to hold colleges and universities accountable and work with them to ensure their reporting is full, accurate, and transparent, as required by the law.”
Spokespeople for Harvard and Yale said they had received the department's requests for records, and they are preparing to respond.
The American Council on Education has previously raised concerns about a lack of clarity surrounding the federal reporting requirements, which pertain to gifts of $250,000 or more.