George Soros is the most dangerous man in America. The investor is intent on remaking the country to his liberal image, from our foreign-policy priorities to undermining our criminal-justice system. This week, The Post takes a look at the reach of Soros’ billions. In this final essay, Matt Palumbo, author of “The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros,” examines Soros’ influence over universities.
Only George Soros could look at the state of American higher education and conclude that it’s not liberal enough.
In 2020 alone, Soros’ Open Society Foundations budgeted more than $63 million, or just over 5% of its budget, toward influencing higher education here and abroad. Over the years Soros has funded more than 20,000 scholarships, invested hundreds of millions into liberal American colleges, and created a University of his own.
Soros’ first venture into higher education for the purpose of furthering his vision was with the founding of the Central European University (CEU) in Hungary in 1991. That serves as his ideological base of operations in the realm of higher education, one that he’s since used for his venture into influencing American higher education.
The Soros family flag and his foundation’s sphere of influence have firmly been planted in the university. George Soros’ son Robert Soros was elected to the CEU board of trustees in 2012, and his other son, Alexander Soros, now serves on the board in his place.
Other current and former members had leadership positions in Soros’ main vehicle for political meddling, his Open Society Foundations. These include OSF London director William Newton-Smith, OSF New York president Christopher Stone, OSF Executive Vice President Leonard Benardo, and the OSF President (as of 2021) George Mark Molloch Brown.
The CEU’s connection to American schools can be seen on it’s board, which includes, or has included, the President of Bard College Leon Botstein (who was formally chairman of the board), Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, and Benjamin Heineman, a senior fellow at a Harvard Law School program.
CEU has allowed Soros to both educate leftists and given him influence over them throughout their careers. Notable CEU alumni include former president of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, Members of European Parliament Lívia Járóka and Monica Macovei, former Georgian minister of defense Tina Khidasheli, Chairman of the Slovakian Party of the Hungarian Coalition József Berényi, and former Croatian minister of justice Orsat Miljenic.
From his first charitable grant in the late 1970s to the early 2010s, Soros contributed over $400 million to colleges and universities, with 75% of it going to two schools; the aforementioned CEU, and Bard College in New York.
More than 19 colleges had individually received at least $1 million from Soros, including Harvard University, Columbia University, Indiana University, and Georgetown University, among others.
Bard College had received nearly $80 million total from Soros when he announced in 2020 that he’d be awarding it an additional $100 million over the next decade.
In 2021 Soros offered Bard another $500 million as soon as the college could find donors to match or exceed it, which Bard leaders believe they can pull off within five years. This is one of the largest gifts in the history of American higher education. The school’s 2020–2021 course catalogue thanked Soros for his then-recent efforts.
Among the initiatives at the school that Soros’ money have funded include the “Hate Studies Initiative,” “Migration Initiative,” and “Racial Justice Initiative.”
In 2021 Soros offered Bard another $500 million as soon as the college could find donors to match or exceed it.
One new course that debuted as part of the “Hate Studies Initiative” promotes the far-left’s defund-the-police hysteria. The course is titled “Abolishing Prisons and the Police” and taught students “how to sell abolition to the masses and design a multimedia ad campaign to make prison abolition go viral.”
Soros funds student activists through the “Trustee Leader-Scholar” program at Bard, which the college says has had its students leave an impact “from Red Hook to the West Bank.” Projects include the “Black Body Experience,” “Bard Palestinian Youth Initiative,” “Migrant Labor Project,” “Palestine Awareness Project,” and the “Trans Action Initiative,” among numerous left-wing causes.
Other university projects funded by Soros follow a similar theme. Georgetown received $1.8 million for the Justice at Stake Campaign, a group that believes there aren’t enough “people of color, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and persons with disabilities” who are judges. Ohio State University got over $100,000 for its Kirwan Institute for the study of race and ethnicity, which then aided in providing “implicit bias training” to Los Angeles City Workers.
With CEU as his anchor in Europe, and Bard his anchor in America, Soros launched the Open Society University Network (OSUN) with the aforementioned universities as the network’s founding members in January 2020.
OSUN’s goal is to integrate teaching and research across higher education institutions backed by Soros worldwide. Botstein was picked to serve as the first chancellor of the network, which expands Soros’ network of colleges and research partners in Europe, Russia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and the United States.
Get them when they’re young. Teach the youth of America, Europe and elsewhere that police and prisons are the biggest problems society has, we must spent vast amounts on diversity and climate change, and dissent must be censored.
And that, in short, is the Soros Strategy. Though he does donate to national politicians, he’s realized that he can push his liberal ideology much more effectively in smaller ways. By pushing prosecutors who won’t prosecute. Fund “fact checkers” who allow social networks to outsource what gets censored. Promote think tanks that “educate,” and pressure, journalists and politicians. Activists and college students.
At 92, George Soros’ influence over America is at its zenith. It took him years, and billions of dollars, but the cost to the rest of us is immeasurable.