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Politicizing Education: Title VI of the Higher Education Act

March 19, 2014 @ 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

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The original legislative intent of Title VI of the Higher Education Act (HEA) was to establish foreign language and area studies programs at our college campuses in order to develop graduates with the expertise to meet the national security needs of our nation. Unfortunately Title VI has been turned on its head; and instead the funds allocated for it are used to advance highly politicized educational programs at universities across the country.  A significant number of Title VI National Resource Centers feature professors that are apologetic for radical Islam and terrorism, and promote an anti-American and anti-Israel agenda.  In 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives conducted a hearing to “examine questions of bias in international and foreign language programs.” The HEA was reauthorized as the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) in 2008, with several amendments to Title VI, including that activities funded by Title VI grants “will reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views,” but the new law neglected to include measures for oversight, grievance procedures, and accountability.

Title VI enables professors particularly belonging to Middle East Centers at universities across the country, including many Ivy League schools, to promote their personal agendas while excluding scholars with other perspectives and stifling academic debate. These centers are also required to conduct “public outreach,” directed to students on campuses and the general public, including training K-12 teachers on the Middle East.  A variety of Saudi-funded foundations have directed millions of dollars to the centers as well as created the curricula used for K-12 education.  Under Title VI, our U.S. tax payer dollars are providing our children, teenagers, and young adults with education that promotes Islam, frowns on Judaism and Christianity, and in many cases, is anti-American and anti-Semitic.

Campuses across the U.S. have recently witnessed “Israeli Apartheid Week,” a series of events that seek to delegitimize Israel and disseminate lies about the State, such as by making the absurd comparison between a vibrant democracy that has to protect its civilian population from being blown up by terrorists and a society based on racial discrimination and prejudice.  Events of Israeli Apartheid Week also aim to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement – supported by some professors at the federally funded Middle Eastern Studies Center—and often containing anti-Semitic messages.



Sarah Stern is the founder and president of EMET, a pro-Israel and pro-American think tank in Washington, DC.  Sarah’s work resulted in the establishment in the Department of Justice the Office for Victims of Overseas Terrorism to ensure equal justice under the law for American victims of Palestinian terrorism, the passage of the Syrian Accountability Act, the passage of a resolution in defense of Israel’s right to build a security fence, and the passage of the HEOA in 2008, calling for a more balanced curriculum in Middle Eastern Studies Departments throughout America. She regularly appears in radio and TV media.  Sarah has written numerous articles published in several journals including The New Republic, Israel Today, Frontpage Magazine, Breitbart, American Thinker, In Focus, The Jerusalem Post and is the author of Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network ​and the novel, “Cherished Illusions.”

Stanley Kurtz is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Kurtz has helped lead the campaign to reform federal subsidies to academic programs of “area studies” under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, and testified before the House of Representatives on the issue in 2003.  Kurtz is a contributing editor to National Review Online, and published two influential books on President Obama’s political history and policy agenda: Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (Threshold) and Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities (Sentinel).  Kurtz received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College and his Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University. He later taught at Harvard, winning several teaching awards for his work in a Great Books Program. He was also Dewey Prize Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Chicago.

Kenneth L. Marcus is President and General Counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and author of the award-winning Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America (New York: Cambridge University Press: 2010).  Marcus founded the Brandeis Center in 2011 to combat the resurgence of anti-Semitism in American higher education. During his public service career, Marcus served as Staff Director at the United States Commission on Civil Rights and was delegated the authority of Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights and Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.  For his work in government, Marcus was named the first recipient of the Justice and Ethics Award for Outstanding Work in the Field of Civil Rights.  Before entering public service, Mr. Marcus was a litigation partner in two major law firms, where he conducted complex commercial and constitutional litigation.

Winfield Myers is Director of Academic Affairs for the Middle East Forum (MEF). Before joining MEF, he was managing editor of The American Enterprise magazine, a publication of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. The co-founder and former CEO of Democracy Project, Inc., he earlier served as senior editor and communications director at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He has longstanding interests in higher education, American politics and culture, and foreign policy. Principal author and editor of a college guide, Choosing the Right College, with an introduction by William Bennett (Eerdmans, 1998; 2001), Myers is also founding editor of the ISI Study Guides to the Liberal Arts. He was formerly senior editor of the Intercollegiate Review and Campus Magazine and is author of a widely distributed pamphlet, “Asking the Right Questions in Choosing a College.”  Myers’s writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Times, among other publications.

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March 19, 2014
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM



United States Capitol
Capitol Visitor Center
Washington, DC 20007 United States
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(202) 226-8000
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