October 13, 2023 •
U.S. Legislation Introduced to Increase Transparency of Foreign Gifts to Universities and Colleges
On October 11, a bill was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives to increase transparency concerning gifts given to institutions of higher education by foreign entities.
House Bill 5933, the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions (DETERRENT) Act, would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965. These changes would:
- Require universities and colleges to provide additional information in disclosures of foreign gifts and contracts from foreign sources;
- Restrict contracts with certain foreign entities and foreign countries of concern;
- Require certain staff and faculty to report foreign gifts and contracts;
- Require disclosure of certain foreign investments within endowments;
- Lower the foreign gift reporting threshold for colleges and universities from $250,000 to $50,000 and include a $0 threshold for countries of concern; and
- Create additional penalties for colleges and universities remaining noncompliant in foreign gift reporting, including the imposition of fines and the loss of Title IV funding.
According to bill sponsor Rep. Michelle Steel’s press release, the legislation would also close reporting loopholes and provides increased transparency to Congress, intelligence agencies, and the public and would protect research-heavy institutions most targeted by adversaries of the U.S.
The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx.
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