January 10, 2024
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  • Private Universities Pocket Billions a Year in Taxpayer Cash While Condoning Antisemitism on College Campuses

    College campuses throughout the United States have become a hotbed of antisemitic, pro-Hamas protests and, in some extreme cases, have promulgated violence. 

    Rather than answering antisemitic demonstrations and speech with unequivocal condemnation and clear support for Jewish students, far too many elite universities have fostered a dangerous campus environment.  

    This was perhaps best evidenced by leaders of Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania failing to sufficiently condemn student protests calling for “Jewish genocide” at an Education and Workforce hearing last month.

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    In response to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asking “At Harvard, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules of bullying and harassment?”, Harvard’s then-president, Claudinde Gay responded, “It can be, depending on the context.”

    Though private universities, unlike public universities, do not receive their funding directly from the federal government, billions of dollars still subsidize these institutions by way of taxpayer-funded grants, contracts, endowment tax breaks, and more.

    Word on the Street Via The Washington Times:

    • “Stanford, Northwestern and the Ivy League universities have collected a combined $33 billion in taxpayer-funded grants and contracts and another $12 billion in tax breaks on their endowments over the last five years, according to new data from OpenTheBooks.com.”
    • “That $45 billion is now being called into question as lawmakers fume over the schools’ handling of pro-Palestinian sentiments on campus in the wake of Hamas‘ attack on Israel last month.”

    • “Stanford University led the way with $7 billion in grants and contracts. Columbia University was second with $5.9 billion. Harvard University was fifth with $3.3 billion over the 2018-2022 period. Dartmouth College was the only Ivy not to get at least $1 billion.”
    • “Endowments for the 10 schools studied grew from $172.2 billion in 2018 to $237 billion at the end of last year and OpenTheBooks projected the total will reach $1 trillion over the next 25 years… OpenTheBooks said the schools avoided $13 billion in taxes, thanks to their status.” 
    • “’Who knew that you were subsidizing the wealthy, elite universities? They don’t need taxpayer help,’ [founder of OpenTheBooks] Mr. Andrzejewski said.”

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    The Bottom Line:

    The reality of the taxpayers’ involvement in the operations of private universities—especially in top-tier private universities—underscores the need for federal oversight regarding antisemitism on college campuses

    Wrongdoings of this kind should be treated equally and fairly across all American institutionsprivate universities should not be exempt

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