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

Sep 20, 2019

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.