Non-profit

Harvard University

This is a logo for Harvard University. (link)
Location:

CAMBRIDGE, MA

Tax ID:

04-2103580

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $7,854,637,824
Expenses: $5,486,335,371
Assets: $57,546,936,000

Type:

University

Founded:

1636

Endowment:

$40.9 billion

Harvard University is one of the oldest, most prestigious, and most powerful universities in the world. Founded in 1636, the university maintains a $40.9 billion academic endowment, the largest in the world, as of April 2021. [1] Harvard University frequently institutionally embraces left-of-center policy on immigration, environmentalism, race, and LGBT issues. [2][3][4][5]

The university’s faculty members are overwhelmingly liberal or otherwise left-wing, with just 2.9% identifying as “conservative” or “very conservative” as of 2021. [6] Harvard has been home to left-wing academics including Cornel West, a professor who called former President Barack Obama a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface” and is the honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA); Mark Tushnet, a law professor who advocated for liberals to treat conservatives like Nazis in Germany following World War II; and Jonathan Walton, who called the National Rifle Association (NRA) a “domestic terrorist organization.” [7][8][9]

Harvard University has been involved with several high-profile federal lawsuits and scandals, including the largest challenge to affirmative action in decades, the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal, and accusations of improperly disclosed foreign funding. [10] [11] [12]

In 2019, Harvard provoked public outrage when it fired Harvard Law School (HLS) professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife from their positions as faculty deans of Winthrop House. The decision to fire the Sullivans came after nearly 6 months of student protests after the New York Post reported that Sullivan would be joining disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein’s legal team. [13] Critics across the political spectrum, including writers for The Atlantic and Reason, the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Harvard Black Law Students Association, panned the dismissal as threatening to the guarantee of legal counsel to accused defendants. [14]

History

Harvard University is among the oldest universities in the United States. The college was originally established to train Protestant ministers in 1636. Harvard played a large role in the American Revolution, serving as housing for revolutionary troops in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for some of the earliest battles of the Revolutionary War. [15]

Over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, Harvard expanded its focus, establishing the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Divinity School. The university today includes 12 graduate and professional schools. [16]

During the 20th century, Harvard rapidly expanded and began to court private donors, growing the Harvard endowment while increasing the diversity of curriculum available to students. [17] In 1969, Harvard made a public commitment to merge with its “sister” women’s college Radcliffe, allowing women to live and study at Harvard. [18]

Today, Harvard has become one of the wealthiest, most prestigious universities in the world. Harvard alumni hold a record number of honors, including 161 Nobel Prizes and 132 Pulitzer Prizes. The school admits just 5% of its applicants annually and maintains a $40.9 billion endowment, the largest academic endowment in the world. [19]

Historical Support for Eugenics

Harvard University has led some of the most controversial academic movements in history, most notably the eugenics movement. Harvard is considered to be the birthplace of eugenics in the United States, with faculty members and alumni serving at the forefront of eugenics organizations during the early 20th century. Former Harvard president Charles Eliot spoke against racial mixing and in support of forced sterilization of the disabled or “criminalistic.” [20] Harvard faculty members argued that racial mixing would diminish the white race and called Africans, African Americans, Jews, Italians, and Asians “genetically undesirable.” [21]

Harvard enforced these policies through its own admissions system, establishing quotas for African American and Jewish students in the first half of the 20th century before moving on to “personality” assessments of applicants to keep out ethnically ‘undesirable” students. Harvard also supported anti-immigration movements and legislation until the middle of the 20th century. [22]

Public Policy Activity

Harvard has long held an enormous influence over public policy in the United States. Seven United States presidents have Harvard degrees, and there are 47 Harvard alumni in the 117th Congress alone, making up nearly 10% of the body. [23] [24] The university itself is also frequently involved in public policy debates, often taking left-of-center stances on social issues including immigration, LGBT issues, and environmentalism.

Immigration

Harvard has long taken left-of-center positions on immigration. In September 2019, Harvard launched the university-wide Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) to research immigration and immigration policy. IIH leader Roberto Gonzales said that the center was launched due to an “urgent need to come together” in light of “increasingly exclusionary and punitive” immigration policy under the Trump administration. [25]

Since IIH’s founding, the initiative has published a number of left-of-center policy proposals and research. The initiative has called the detention of illegal immigrants a “broken system” and a “tragedy” and claimed that raids led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be treated as “natural disasters.” [26] [27] In addition to IIH, Harvard Law School (HLS) runs the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) in which law students represent individuals applying for immigration protections. [28]

Harvard University also allows undocumented immigrants to study at any of its schools and provides legal resources for undocumented students. [29] These include legal representation in immigration proceedings, in addition to social work programs. [30] Undocumented immigrants are also eligible for full financial aid from the university. [31] Harvard has used undocumented students to send a broader left-of-center immigration advocacy message, highlighting the experiences of undocumented students and calling for left-of-center immigration policy in the Harvard Gazette, the university-sponsored magazine. [32] [33]

In December 2020, Harvard president Larry Bacow urged then-President-elect Joe Biden to reverse Trump administration immigration policies in a public letter congratulating President Biden on his victory. Bacow called for the Biden administration to rescind the ban on immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries, reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and reissue Temporary Protected Status (TPS) benefits. [34]

Environmentalism

Harvard has a complicated relationship with environmentalism, though the university has publicly supported environmentalist proposals. The HLS Animal Law and Policy Clinic has joined with left-of-center organizations including the Animal Legal Defense Fund to sue the federal government in support of conservationist policy, and HIRC officials have called on the Biden administration to accept climate change as a justification for asylum for refugees. [35] [36]

In addition to HLS support for environmentalist policies, the university has hosted a number of panels calling for regulations to combat climate change, referring to climate change as a “national security issue” and calling the Sunrise Movement, a far-left environmentalist organization, “transformative.” [37] [38] Harvard has also heavily invested in environmentalist energy projects. Since 2014, Harvard has provided $1 million annually in funding for research initiatives focused on combating climate change. [39]

The university has also been at the center of a controversial environmental engineering project which seeks to send a small quantity of aerosol particles into space to see whether those particles could reflect sunlight, cooling the earth. The project has faced criticism, with left-of-center activists claiming that solar engineering offers a “quick fix” to halt global warming without addressing its allegedly manmade causes. [40]

Despite Harvard’s avowed support for environmentalism, the university has faced backlash for its alleged hypocrisy on the issue. Though Harvard claims that human activities are the cause of climate change, around $838 million of its endowment are still invested in the conventional energy industry, which environmentalist activists oppose. Lawmakers in Massachusetts are even seeking to invoke an article in the Massachusetts Constitution to force Harvard University to fully divest from conventional energy companies as of July 2021. [41]

Critical Race Theory

Harvard University promotes the left-of-center racial ideology known as critical race theory, which began on Harvard’s campus when late professor Derrick Bell established the tenets of the theory through his publications and his HLS course “Race, Racism, and American Law.” Critical race theory claims that racism is “endemic to American society,” condemns colorblind policymaking, and argues that race was “socially constructed for the purpose of oppression.” [42]

Harvard University has repeatedly endorsed left-of-center proposals on race and incorporated critical race theory into classroom discussion, especially at Harvard Law School. In 2016, HLS abandoned its existing shield because it resembled the crest of a slaveholding family. The school also appointed a visiting professor to teach critical race theory the following fall. [43] As of 2021, HLS is considering proposals to hire ethnic minority faculty members to teach critical race theory, increase faculty diversity, and include more critical race theory courses than those already offered. [44]

Outside of HLS, Harvard has routinely promoted critical race theory and its lead proponents. In a 2021 event, Harvard hosted an event which called racism America’s “caste system.” [45] In December 2019, Harvard hosted an event with Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the controversial, historically flawed 1619 Project. In September 2020, the Harvard University Radcliffe Institute hosted another event with Hannah-Jones in which she explicitly argued that the founding of the United States should be considered 1619, the year that African slaves arrived, rather than 1776. [46] [47] The Radcliffe Institute also named left-wing “antiracism” thinker Ibram X. Kendi as its 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow. [48]

Harvard faculty members have also called for mandated instruction in critical race theory, claiming that courses in “anti-racism” are necessary for preparing students to be engaged citizens. [49]

LGBT Issues

Harvard University has long supported left-of-center ideology on gender and LGBT issues. The university runs the Office of BGLTQ Student Life to support LGBT students on campus and encourage other students to support left-of-center views on gender and sexuality. [50] Harvard has one of the largest LGBT student populations in the country, with more than 18% of the freshman class in 2018 identifying as “something other than straight,” which was more than the percent of the class which identified themselves as conservatives. [51]

In 2018, Harvard College implemented a “gender-neutral housing option” to allow first-year students to room with students of other genders following pressure from student coalitions. The move faced legal scrutiny, given that some first-year students would require parental consent to live in gender-neutral housing if they were underage. [52]

The university has also promoted left-of-center perspectives on transgender issues. In 2015, Harvard student Schuyler Bailar became the first transgender athlete to compete on a NCAA Division 1 men’s team with the Harvard swim team. Bailar has since used his experience to advocate against bills which would prevent transgender women who were born male from competing against biological females, against whom they have a biological advantage. [53]

Notable Programs and Centers

Aside from university-wide initiatives, Harvard operates various programs and centers that often endorse left-of-center ideologies and perspectives.

The Harvard Kennedy School

The Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government (HKS) has produced some of the most powerful government officials in the world, including former heads of state, top bureaucrats, and political journalists. HKS has also been known for its promotion of left-of-center ideology, especially on issues of speech regulation. In January 2021, HKS sociologist Joan Donovan called former President Trump’s speech “oppression” and praised moves to ban his social media accounts. [54] [55]

Though HKS has frequently invited conservative speakers to campus, faculty have claimed that speakers including former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and former Secretary of the Press Sean Spicer should not speak on campus because they do not have “responsible perspectives.” An internal HKS task force found that conservative perspectives were lacking at the school, but students argued that the school should neglect conservative representation by claiming that increasing it would decrease racial and gender diversity on campus. Other students argued that HKS’s use of conservative speakers did not adequately address the lack of ideological diversity within the student body. [56]

HKS students have also been known to protest conservative voices on campus, with HKS students disrupting former Secretary DeVos’s speech and accusing her of putting students up “for sale” by supporting school choice programs. [57] In 2020, Harvard students wrote a letter to the university calling on the school to refuse to hire or invite any former Trump administration officials to campus unless they became “accountable’ for their “complicity” in right-of-center policies. The letter claimed that inviting such speakers would be a “subversion of democratic principles,” a move which lawyer and HLS professor Alan Dershowitz compared to “McCarthyism.” [58] [59]

Despite its alleged support for ideological diversity, HKS has taken steps to remove conservatives from positions of power within the school. In January 2021, HKS removed U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) from the advisory board of its Institute of Politics after she repeated then-President Trump’s largely unsubstantiated claims about potential voter fraud in the 2020 election. [60]

Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights (EMR)

The Harvard University Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights (EMR) offers students secondary fields (equivalent to “minors” at other universities) in studies of “ethnicity, migration, indigeneity, and human rights, with particular attention to Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, and Native American topics.” The program is largely viewed as a step toward the creation of an “ethnic studies” department at Harvard University. [61]

EMR is home to some of the most far-left courses and faculty at the university. Academic year 2020-2021 courses included “Race, Capitalism, and the Coming of the Civil War,” “Introduction to Ethnic Studies,” “Latinx Identity and Mobilization,” and “Migrations: Narrating Displacement.” The committee also encourages students to specialize in one of five focus fields: Latinx Studies, Migration and Human Rights, Muslim American Studies, Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies, and Native and Indigenous Studies. [62]

In late 2019 and early 2020, EMR and the potential for an ethnic studies department at Harvard became the subject of student protests after Harvard denied tenure to Lorgia Garcia Pena, a professor who taught ethnic studies courses. Garcia Pena supported calls for a full ethnic studies department, claiming that it would make the university “a little less racist, a little less white.” Outraged students protested Harvard’s decision to deny her tenure, which prompted Harvard to pledge to continue to search for new faculty members to teach ethnic studies. [63]

Critics pushed back on claims that Garcia Pena was denied tenure due to her specialization in ethnic studies, with some pointing out that Garcia Pena had been teaching for just 5 years before she came up for review. Moreover, Garcia Pena published just three articles and one book prior to her review, none of which were cited more than 22 times. [64]

Nonetheless, Harvard doubled down on its commitment to ethnic studies. In 2021, Harvard dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay said that Harvard would create two annual visiting professorships in ethnic studies, in addition to hiring three or four tenured faculty members who would focus on ethnic studies. [65]

Berkman Klein Center

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society (BKC) is a Harvard center which studies the rise of the internet and its relation to governance, advocating for the implementation of a number of left-of-center policies to address the digital landscape. Former Democratic presidential candidate and advocate of campaign speech restrictions Larry Lessig assisted in founding the center in 1998. [66]

Since its founding, BKC has advocated for left-of-center regulations in the online space. BKC officials have argued that businesses only seek to “milk as much money as possible out of customers by limiting rather than liberating customer choices” and launched ProjectVRM to limit the power of digital service vendors. [67]

BKC has also taken strong positions against former President Trump. In September 2020, BKC published a report claiming that President Trump’s tweets were “the most common by far” causes of social media discussion on voter fraud. [68] In 2018, BKC faculty associate Susan Benesch defined President Trump’s speech as regularly meeting the criteria of “dangerous speech” that can lead to violence and claimed that his social media accounts resembled those of domestic terrorists. In the same article, Benesch claimed that Republicans were responsible for increasing the likelihood of violence in the United States. [69]

Notable Faculty

Harvard’s faculty is dominated by left-of-center figures, with 77.6% of faculty members identifying as “liberal” or “very liberal” as of 2021. In contrast, just 2.9% of professors identified as “conservative” or “very conservative.” [70] A 2015 study found that 96% of all Harvard faculty donations between 2012 and 2015 went to Democrats. [71] During the 2020 election cycle, Harvard affiliates donated nearly $3.7 million to Democratic candidates, compared to just $43,215 to Republicans. [72]

Despite Harvard’s overall liberal bent, some of the most prominent conservative and libertarian academics in the country are also affiliated with the university, including Harvey Mansfield, N. Gregory Mankiw, Robert Barro, and Mary Ann Glendon. [73]

Cornel West

Harvard is known for housing some of the most left-wing professors in the country, most famously Cornel West. West is one of the honorary chairs of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and he has called socialism a “fundamental commitment…to the dignity of ordinary people and to make sure they can live lives of decency.” [74] [75]

West worked on behalf of self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on both his 2016 and his 2020 presidential campaigns. [76] [77] West has also supported the violent extremist organization Antifa, claiming that it saved his life and that putting the organization on the terror watch list was a “Trump-led neofascist backlash.” [78] [79] West’s political views are far outside the political mainstream, with him referring to former President Obama as a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs,” a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface,” and a “brown-faced Clinton.” [80] [81]

West has been at the center of several Harvard controversies. After then-Harvard president Lawrence Summers called a meeting with West in October 2001 after he failed to produce any meaningful scholarship and routinely abandoned his teaching responsibilities to join political campaigns, West left Harvard and accused Summers of being a bully. [82] Though West returned to Harvard in 2016, he announced plans to leave again in 2021 after he was denied an interview for tenure, which he alleged was due to his political beliefs. [83]

Jonathan Walton

Jonathan Walton was formerly the Plummer professor of Christian morals and Pusey minister of the Memorial Church. Walton stepped down in 2019 after being named dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. [84]

During his time at Harvard, Walton endorsed a left-of-center reading of the Bible. In his book A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World, Walton encouraged readers to approach the Bible with a focus on “marginalized people.” The book then argues that contemporary Christian preachers and politicians, many of whom are right-of-center, “are feeding off fear and ignorance of the so-called other.” [85]

In 2017, following a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Walton led a vigil in which he referred to the right-of-center National Rifle Association (NRA) a “domestic terrorist organization.” Walton also accused the organization of preferring that people “just keep on praying, while they make the tools of death and human destruction more accessible” and “make mass murder more efficient.” [86]

Walton criticized the political right as a whole in the same speech, calling then-President Trump a “madman” who “embodies the worst aspects of our country’s cultural disease.” Walton also called appeals to Second Amendment rights “anachronistic” and misapplied to the modern era. [87]

Mark Tushnet

Harvard Law School professor Mark Tushnet is frequently cited by left-of-center media outlets, such as the New York Times, as a legal expert. Tushnet has often used this title to promote left-of-center constitutional interpretations. [88] During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tushnet asserted the constitutionality of state bans on vaccine mandates, while claiming that the bans were nothing more than symbols of support for President Trump led by Republican governors. [89]

In June 2021, Tushnet criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for stating that he would bar President Biden from appointing new justices if Republicans regain control of the U.S. Senate. Tushnet claimed that Sen. McConnell, while being within the legal boundaries of the United States Constitution, was subverting the “intention” of the Constitution and damaging democratic institutions. [90] Tushnet has also advocated on behalf of court packing by Democrats while they hold control of the U.S. Senate, sitting on the advisory board of the left-of-center advocacy group Take Back the Court. [91]

Tushnet has been criticized for comparing Christians and conservatives to pro-slavery Southerners after the Civil War and defeated Nazis in Germany after World War II in a 2016 blog post. The post claimed that conservatives and Christians lost the “culture wars,” making the question for liberals “how to deal with the losers.” [92] Tushnet advocated for a “hard line” approach, rather than compromise, saying that it “seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.” The post sparked widespread condemnation from right-of-center figures for placing mainstream conservative beliefs on par with Nazism. [93][94][95]

When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito cited Tushnet’s blog post in a November 2020 speech in which he claimed that liberals were damaging free speech and religious liberty, Tushnet doubled down on his argument, calling Justice Alito’s speech “the observation of a person who hasn’t come to grips with the fact that he’s been on the losing side.” [96]

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is a James Conant Bryant University Professor at Harvard, holding the university’s highest academic title since 2017. [97] Allen has a long affiliation with left-of-center organizations, previously working as a MacArthur Foundation fellow and chairing the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation board of trustees. [98] [99] Allen was also the director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics until she went on leave in 2021. [100]

In 2016, Allen compared the rise of President Trump to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. In the same article, Allen urged journalists to “turn off the mic” on President Trump and “reestablish standards for what counts as a worthwhile contribution to the public debate,” advocating for mass media censorship of then-candidate Trump. Allen then called on Republicans in the primary race to drop out of the race and endorse the more moderate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to prevent President Trump from winning and to refuse to support President Trump if he received the nomination. [101]

In December 2020, Allen announced that she was exploring entering the 2022 race to become governor of Massachusetts. [102] On June 15, 2021, Allen officially launched her campaign, running on a left-of-center platform including increased government funding for housing, transportation, and schools. [103]

Students for Fair Admissions Lawsuit

Harvard University admissions practices have been challenged in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, a federal lawsuit which alleges that Harvard has racially discriminated against Asian Americans in its admissions process by holding them to higher standards than other applicants. [104] The case has become the largest legal challenge to affirmative action in decades.

In fall 2018, the lawsuit went to trial in the federal district court in Boston. The plaintiffs alleged that Harvard had been racially stereotyping Asian Americans for decades, consistent with a 1990 report by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights which said that admissions officers repeatedly characterized Asian Americans as “quiet, shy, science/math oriented, and hard workers.” The plaintiffs further argued that statistical analysis proved that Asian Americans as a group had better academic and extracurricular credentials than other racial groups but were discriminated against by biased personality scoring, resulting in a much lower acceptance rate. [105]

Harvard responded by claiming that there was no unconscious bias in its admissions decisions and disputed the idea that Asian Americans were systematically given lower personality scores. The university also claimed that if meritocratic factors alone determined admission, the percentage of African American and Latino students at Harvard would drop dramatically, and that preserving racial diversity was essential. [106]

During the discovery process for the lawsuit, investigators found that African American and Latino students were more likely to gain admission to the university than equally qualified white or Asian students. Harvard admitted that race plays a role in deciding among students who are equally qualified to attend Harvard, but not exceptional enough as to be virtually guaranteed admission. Harvard rejects more than 85% of all applicants in this category but accepts more than half of the African American applicants in this group and nearly a third of Hispanic applicants. Harvard defended the practice as creating a more robust student body. [107]

In 2019, a judge ruled in favor of Harvard, claiming that “diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions.” [108] One year later, a federal appeals court upheld the initial decision, prompting lawyers for Students for Fair Admissions to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. [109] [110] The Supreme Court has yet to decide on whether to hear the case and has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its views on the case before proceeding. [111]

Single-Gender Student Organizations Lawsuit

In 2017, Harvard University imposed a policy which barred students who chose to participate in single-gender student organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, from holding leadership positions in university-recognized organizations and on athletic teams. The policy also barred students from applying for prestigious fellowships, including the Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell scholarships. [112]

In 2020, five fraternities and sororities filed a lawsuit against Harvard alleging that it had violated the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act and Title IX through the policy. After a judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit, Harvard announced in June 2020 that it would be rescinding the policy. [113]

College Admissions Scandal

In 2020, Harvard became embroiled in the 2020 Varsity Blues college admissions scandal launched by the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office to uncover widespread bribery in college admissions. [114] In November 2020, former Harvard fencing coach Peter Brand and businessman Jie “Jack” Zhao were arrested and charged with conspiring to secure Harvard admission for Zhao’s two sons in exchange for bribes. [115]

Brand was accused of telling a co-conspirator that Zhao’s children did not have to be great fencers and that he just needed “a good incentive to recruit them.” Zhao then allegedly made a $1 million donation to a fencing charity, which then sent $100,000 to the Peter Brand Foundation. Law enforcement officials alleged that Zhao then made $1.5 million in payments to Brand, bought him a car, paid college tuition for his son, and purchased his house for far above market value. The case has not yet been decided in court. [116]

Five other Harvard graduates were among the 50 individuals charged by the United States Attorney’s Office in connection to the scandal. [117]

Ronald Sullivan Firing

In June 2019, Harvard College fired Ronald Sullivan and his wife from their positions as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of the school’s 12 residential communities. The Sullivans had served in the position for 10 years and were the first African American faculty deans at Harvard. [118]

The decision to fire the Sullivans came after nearly 6 months of student protests after the New York Post reported that Sullivan would be joining disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein’s legal team. Sullivan, a nationally recognized criminal defense attorney and HLS professor who led the HLS Criminal Justice Institute, had a long history of defending accused criminals, including murderers and terrorists. Students claimed that they did not feel “safe” with Sullivan after his decision to defend Weinstein, prompting Harvard to remove him from his position in a move which Sullivan claimed was “cowering” and “capitulating” to fringe student activists. [119]

Critics across the political spectrum panned Harvard’s decision to fire Sullivan. Fellow HLS professor Randall Kennedy accused Harvard of having “ratified the proposition that it is inappropriate for a faculty dean to defend a person reviled by a substantial number of students,” which he claimed would have also disqualified civil rights defenders Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall (who would become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court). [120] Writers for the Atlantic and Reason, along with the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Harvard Black Law Students Association, also condemned the dismissal. [121]

Failure to Report Foreign Donations

In February 2020, Harvard became the subject another scandal when the U.S. Department of Education announced that it would be opening an investigation into Harvard and Yale for failing to report at least $375 million in gifts and contracts from foreign donors. [122] [123]

Four months later, three members of Congress sent a letter to Harvard among other elite universities requesting that they provide all records of gifts from Russia, China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran since January 2015. [124] The letters alleged that Harvard had received 31 gifts or contracts totaling $101 million from the countries over the course of 5 years.  The investigation is ongoing as of June 2021. [125]

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    Aside from advocacy within the university, Harvard has also taken left-of-center public stances on immigration. In July 2020, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sued the federal government to prevent an ICE policy which would have revoked student visas for foreign nationals taking online-only classes. Just one week later, ICE reversed the policy, allowing students to remain in the United States and take online courses for the duration of the pandemic. [note]Woolston, Chris. “US Government Rescinds Antagonistic International-Student Visa Policy.” Nature News. Nature Publishing Group, July 17, 2020. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02160-4. ^

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  122. Neuman, Scott, and Cory Turner. “Harvard, Yale Accused Of Failing To Report Hundreds Of Millions In Foreign Donations.” NPR. NPR, February 13, 2020. https://www.npr.org/2020/02/13/805548681/harvard-yale-targets-of-education-department-probe-into-foreign-donations. ^
  123. Bing, Fang. “US Lawmakers Ask 6 Top Universities to Hand Over Records of Foreign Donations.” Voice of America, August 5, 2020. https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-lawmakers-ask-6-top-universities-hand-over-records-foreign-donations. ^
  124. Bing, Fang. “US Lawmakers Ask 6 Top Universities to Hand Over Records of Foreign Donations.” Voice of America, August 5, 2020. https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-lawmakers-ask-6-top-universities-hand-over-records-foreign-donations. ^
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Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Yuen-Ying Chan
    Nieman Fellowship Recipient
  2. H.D.S Greenway
    Nieman Fellowship Recipient
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1967

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Jun Form 990 $7,854,637,824 $5,486,335,371 $57,546,936,000 $9,900,053,000 Y $2,775,718,408 $1,970,647,830 $252,783,408 $11,528,412 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $5,751,501,241 $5,243,094,233 $55,084,581,000 $9,624,949,000 Y $1,888,401,380 $1,858,786,665 $233,116,195 $10,881,286 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $5,773,782,886 $5,174,101,052 $52,078,749,000 $9,495,245,000 Y $1,662,160,571 $1,765,592,102 $371,025,079 $10,746,791 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $4,458,905,923 $4,930,905,851 $75,287,515,000 $33,402,594,000 Y $1,631,689,043 $1,703,349,679 $356,449,788 $11,265,792
    2015 Jun Form 990 $6,609,236,543 $4,775,458,754 $73,518,242,000 $29,734,176,000 Y $2,242,963,264 $1,675,362,549 $467,554,615 $10,129,841 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $6,740,015,230 $4,669,997,260 $68,112,313,000 $25,901,015,000 Y $2,174,337,778 $1,498,949,480 $479,365,224 $8,478,834 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $5,840,349,457 $4,581,913,275 $72,763,619,000 $35,024,442,000 Y $1,856,072,877 $1,418,109,927 $313,971,629 $7,068,530 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $4,054,499,482 $4,361,276,872 $56,370,683,000 $20,893,292,000 Y $1,543,769,248 $1,370,131,168 $297,793,872 $7,042,467 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $5,179,911,438 $4,197,626,485 $59,837,950,000 $23,202,937,000 Y $1,388,387,596 $1,319,676,096 $346,784,661 $7,313,984 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Harvard University

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