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Federal Government Threatens To Remove Funding From UNC-Duke Middle East Studies Consortium

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Gage Skidmore
Creative Commons
The U.S. Department of Education accused the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies of misusing federal funds. Photo: U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies accusing them of misusing federal funds in their programming.

Government officials gave the consortium a Sept. 22 deadline to revise the schedule of activities funded by the federal dollars to remain eligible for future grants. The investigation into this program began with a complaint from U.S. Rep. George Holding (R-Raleigh). He wrote a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking her to investigate the conference “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, And Possibilities” hosted by the consortium in March.

Host Frank Stasio talks to reporter Brian Murphy about the specific complaints and how they fit into a broader conversation about academic freedom. Murphy covers North Carolina’s congressional delegation and state issues from Washington, D.C., for The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and The Herald-Sun.

Amanda Magnus is the editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She's also the lead producer for on-demand content at WUNC and has worked on "Tested" and "CREEP."
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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