New Bill Shines Light on Chinese Influence in TN Colleges

Published April 21, 2021

By William Haupt III [Tennessee Watchdog Journalist, Columnist, Author, and Citizen Legislator]

The House chamber unanimously passed legislation requiring greater transparency for foreign investments on college campuses in Tennessee. It prohibits the establishment of Confucius Institutes which have ties to communist regimes.  

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

“Colleges and universities are a place for the robust debate of ideas – not a place for foreign governments to operate in the shadows,” said Governor Lee. “After the federal government rolled back critical reporting requirements around Confucius Institutes, my administration is taking action to provide Tennessee taxpayers greater transparency in all foreign investments on our campuses.”

As amended, House Bill 1238 requires state institutions to disclose gifts received from and contracts initiated with a foreign source in excess of $10,000. The bill requires the institution to submit a disclosure report to the Comptroller of the Treasury and Department of Safety for review. House Bill 1238 provides Tennessee taxpayers greater transparency in foreign influences and preserves the integrity of the state’s higher education institutes.  

This legislation provides taxpayers with greater transparency of foreign influences and preserve the integrity of Tennessee’s higher education institutions.  The bill now awaits passage in the Senate. 

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn stated, “The Chinese government will no longer be allowed to influence American education the way Confucius Institutes have for the past 16 years. Confucius Institutes as they currently operate limit academic freedom, and we will not bow to oppressive Chinese propaganda systems.”

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About the Author:

William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13. His work also appears in The Center Square, The Western Journal, Neighbor Newspapers, KPXJ 21 (Shreveport, LA), Killeen Daily Herald, Aberdeen American News, InsideNova, Kankakee Daily Journal, Monterey County Weekly, Olean Times Herald, The Greeneville Sun and more.

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