A college linked to the Clinton Global Initiative University is among the hundreds that currently have their finances under additional oversight because of a failure to provide required information to the U.S. Department of Education.
Southern Illinois University has been under “heightened cash monitoring” by the education department since 2013. But that didn't stop the college, based in Carbondale, Ill., from becoming part of the Clinton Global Initiative University Network in 2014.
Colleges donate money to become an arm of the foundation and they are deemed to be part of a “prestigious network of institutions,” according to the Clinton Foundation’s website.
The reason for the increased oversight at Southern Illinois is a failure to provide the education department with an annual audit, prompting the department to allege the school is “not financially responsible,” according to memo accompanying the list of universities that are under the enhanced monitoring.
“We anticipate that we will be off the list this year after a third consecutive timely filing of the audit,” said university spokesman John Charles, in an email. “Being on the list simply means that our records go through an extra round of review before we receive our federal financial aid reimbursement.”
Charles said several students from Southern Illinois participated in the Clinton university program in 2014, but he could not be sure why the university was not on the list in the past two years.
The education department has since the 1990s been able to use financial aid and student loan data as a means to police institutions that do not follow the rules regarding fiscal management. The Obama administration, in particular, has used it to oversee the for-profit college industry. In some cases, the government has shut down universities that fail to handle their money properly.
Hillary Clinton has also vowed to crack down on for-profit universities, which often saddle students with onerous loans and little help in job placement despite promises. The presumptive Democratic presidential contender has also been an advocate for public university systems, such as Southern Illinois University, even venturing that she would back debt-free tuition at such institutions.
Southern Illinois is also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for its handling of sexual assault cases.
The Carbondale campus is the flagship of the Southern Illinois University system, a publicly funded institution. It is unclear how much money it paid to be part of the Clinton Global Initiative University Network, although the network reported that, overall, it has spent $3 million since 2008 to fund students who vow to undertake projects that have in the past included an energy-generating soccer ball and a low end wheelchair for use in third world countries.
An email to the Clinton Global Initiative University seeking comment was not answered.
Clinton last month derided Donald Trump and Trump University as a “fraud,” citing reports that his for-profit school made promises to students that it did not keep, including the notion that Trump himself would be involved in the education process.
Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential contender, denied any impropriety regarding his university.