Top Universities Took Billions in Unreported Foreign Funds, U.S. Finds

Aruna Viswanatha and Melissa Korn:

Cornell University initially failed to report to U.S. authorities more than $1.2 billion in foreign funds it has received in recent years, including $760 million related to its campus in Qatar and about $1 million in contracts from Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies Co., the U.S. Education Department indicated in its latest report on schools and foreign contracts.

The names of Cornell and other universities are redacted in a report the department released Tuesday, but are identifiable based on other details provided in the report and related correspondence by the department with the schools.

The 34-page report provides an update to a broad investigation the Education Department undertook last year into whether U.S. universities are appropriately reporting all foreign contracts and gifts that total more than $250,000 in one year. It isn’t illegal to take such funds, but universities are obligated to disclose them under a statute that is decades old but hasn’t been vigorously enforced in past years.