Department of Education to Investigate Antisemitism at UNC and Duke

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies during a House House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, May 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. The hearing focus is on examining the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Education. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education have opened an investigation into antisemitism at the University of North Carolina and Duke University consortium.

According to a local news report, the United States Department of Education has launched an investigation into reports of antisemitism at the UNC-Duke Consortium for Middle East Studies. The consortium was established to combine the resources of each university’s Middle East Studies departments.

The Department of Education received a complaint from Rep. George Holding (R-NC) over alleged antisemitic rhetoric at a federally-funded conference hosted by the consortium on Gaza.

In a letter to Rep. Holding, Betsy DeVos stated that the UNC-Duke Consortium risks losing its federal funding if it cannot present a fair and unbiased perspective on the information that it presents.

“This includes a requirement under Section 602 (e)(1) of the HEA that grantees must use funds to support activities that “reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs,'” DeVos wrote.

DeVos went on to argue in the letter that she will move to pull the funding from the UNC-Duke Consortium if it cannot comply with the law.

I am troubled by the concerns outlined in your letter. In order for the Department to learn more about this matter, I have directed the Office of Postsecondary Education to examine the use of funds under this program to determine if the Consortium violated the terms and conditions of its grant, Department regulations, or the HEA. It is critical that recipients of grants use funds in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements, as well as for purposes of the program for which they are funded.

Rep. Holding thanked Secretary DeVos for her action on the issue. “I’d like to thank Secretary DeVos for treating this matter with the seriousness and attention it deserves,” Representative Holding said on the investigation. “I hope we can all agree that it is irresponsible and immoral for taxpayer dollars to fund overtly biased advocacy under the guise of constructive academic discourse.”



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