Stanford is canceling an active contract with an unknown entity from Russia, Fox News reported early this morning. It appears to be the last remaining active contract between a U.S. university and a Russian entity.
The $1.65M contract began in December 2020 and was supposed to last until December 2023, according to a report from the Department of Education. While the report contains few details, it does clarify that the funding did not come from the Russian government.
The contract is for “online access to business-related professional development courses,” according to Stanford spokesperson Dee Mostofi. Mostofi added that the contract was fully compliant with U.S. sanctions on Russia.
Mostofi declined to comment on why Stanford decided to terminate its contract with the Russian entity and when the decision was made.
Stanford’s termination of the contract puts it in the company of several other U.S. universities that have cut financial ties with Russia in the wake of Putin’s war on Ukraine. MIT severed a research partnership with the Kremlin on Feb. 25 and, as of March 3, the University of Colorado is taking steps to liquidate its investments in Russian companies.
The University has yet to make a public statement about this specific contract’s cancellation, but on March 8, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne told the Faculty Senate that “the Stanford Management Company has not actively invested in Russia for many years” and that the University has “de minimis” investment exposure to Russia. Stanford also does not currently have any active research contracts with Russian sponsors.
The information also comes one week after Ukrainian student advocates expressed frustration toward the University for failing to release a campus-wide message condemning Russia for its actions. A University spokesperson said that Stanford rarely makes statements on international issues.
“I have become very used to receiving messages signaling Stanford’s support for causes that the leadership considers to be important,” fifth-year Ph.D. student and Ukrainian Students Association group member Damian Pavlyshyn wrote to The Daily last week. “That is why it is hard to interpret silence as anything but a signal that they do not consider the current invasion to be an issue of substantial moral importance.”
This article has been updated to accurately reflect comments from University officials about Stanford’s investments in Russia and programs abroad. The Daily regrets this error.