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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
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Creative Commons http://bit.ly/2mr6xsv
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 grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
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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