BISMARCK – U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Controller General Gene Dodaro regarding reports of potential misuse of taxpayer funds allocated under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which deals with international education programs. The letter follows reports of universities violating Department of Education guidelines for receiving these funds over the last year.
"We have a duty to ensure taxpayer dollars are used in a fashion that complies with the relevant laws governing such funds," wrote the senators. "Funds distributed under Title VI were not intended to advance questionable ideological priorities, especially views that often alienate specific religious minorities and fail to meet the Department's own stated standard of providing a full understanding of the regions in which the foreign language is commonly used."
Middle East Forum's Campus Watch Director Winfield Myers applauded the senators' letter.
"Congress created Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to strengthen America's national security by producing a steady stream of well-trained area and language experts who would enter academic, military, and governmental service. To ensure the proper use of taxpayer dollars, they set parameters on how funds should be spent," said Winfield. "Despite these safeguards, university Middle East studies centers have used Title VI grants to support scholarship and teaching that is anti-American, anti-Semitic, and even sympathetic to terrorism. Given these systemic problems, a GAO audit on the use of Title VI funds is long overdue and would help spur much-needed reforms. I thank Senators Rubio and Cramer for requesting such an audit." - Winfield Myers, the director of academic affairs at the Middle East Forum and director of its Campus Watch program."