Foreign gifts to US universities plummet after Biden took office

The number of foreign gifts to U.S. universities plunged by nearly two-thirds after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took office as Sen. Chris Dodd’s top deputy, according to a review by The Washington…

Foreign gifts to US universities plummet after Biden took office

The number of foreign gifts to U.S. universities plunged by nearly two-thirds after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took office as Sen. Chris Dodd’s top deputy, according to a review by The Washington Post.

Last month, a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Senate ethics committee alleging Biden spent tens of thousands of dollars to fly his wife, Jill, first class to watch basketball games or cook for friends and the Obamas at their estate in Chicago.

Committee chairman Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) responded to the allegation in a letter Monday saying he had “not begun to consider” the matter.

Neither Biden’s campaign nor his office has commented on the report, which was compiled from reporting from Washington and around the country by the Chronicle of Higher Education, an independent journal covering higher education.

Yet Chinese government-linked donors who provide U.S. colleges with more than $75,000 a year have continued to donate in excess of the $300,000 limit. (A vast majority of U.S. colleges receive money from abroad but disclose much less detailed information than private schools.) Chinese donors – sometimes referred to as “contributors” – accounted for more than half of the $209 million worth of overseas gifts received last year, up from 37 percent in 2008, according to the Chronicle’s analysis.

While foreign donations to U.S. schools have decreased as other government funding to higher education has declined, foreign donations to the U.S. military have exploded. The Chronicle reports that last year, foreign government-linked donors gave more than $3.5 billion in direct support to the military. But the article notes that the bulk of that money comes from a relatively small percentage of donors.

To rebut the perception that U.S. universities continue to depend on foreign governments to pay for their programs, Dempsey welcomed news last month that the U.S. had proposed a budget that would restrict foreign donors.

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