U.S. colleges and universities are required by law to publicly report foreign gifts and revenue contracts to the U.S. Department of Education. The requirement is documented in Section 117 of the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 and requires the reporting of revenue contracts with and gifts from a foreign source that, alone or combined, are valued at $250,000 or more in a calendar year. Institutions must maintain compliance with these requirements to maintain eligibility to participate in federal programs, such as financial aid.
Stanford is committed to sound and compliant financial stewardship and meeting its responsibilities to report foreign gifts and revenue contracts. Effective with the 2020 reporting cycle, Financial Management Services, through its Global Business Services department, administers and manages the foreign gift and revenue contract reporting process.
The foreign gift and revenue contract reporting process relies upon close partnership and collaboration with other central offices, schools and units to collect data on all Stanford contract or gift revenue or other items of value received from foreign sources. Office of Research Administration (ORA) provides the relevant data for sponsored contracts, licensing and patents; Office of Development (OOD) provides gifts and affiliate agreements, and schools and units provide data on non-sponsored contracts. School and unit provided data is combined with information provided by the central offices who track sponsored contracts and gifts.
Examples of types of revenue contracts in scope for reporting include, but are not limited to executive education programs, Stanford online education programs, tuition sponsored by a foreign source for matriculated students, workshop and conference registration fees, ticket sales, and service centers. It is important to note that an invoice may serve as a “contract,” so the absence of a formal agreement does not in itself preclude the associated revenue from being included as a foreign contract. As the threshold of $250,000 is assessed at the university level, each school and unit is required to provide all the data for foreign sourced revenue or other items of value regardless of the amount of the contracts.
Foreign Gifts and Contracts reporting is required to be submitted twice annually; on July 31 for the period January 1 through June 30, and on January 31 for the period July 1 through December 31. The threshold for reporting is $250,000 during the calendar year from a single foreign source, even if it is totaled across both reporting periods in the calendar year and/or across multiple gifts or contracts therein. This means that while some amounts received during the first reporting period may not meet the threshold requirements, if additional amounts from the same source are received during the second reporting period and result in accumulated total from that foreign source meeting the $250,000 threshold, all amounts received during the calendar year from that foreign source must be included in the report for the second reporting period.
In some cases, additional contract terms that create value but do not generate revenue must also be reported. This may include Data Use Agreements (DUAs) and Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs).
- In approximately May and October, the FMS Global Business Services (GBS) team initiates the process by reaching out to representatives of schools, units and central offices to begin the reporting process.
- GBS partners with designated departmental representatives to collect and collate data from across the university.
- The data is assessed and analyzed by GBS to determine the reportable items, including a cumulative assessment at calendar year end.
- The detailed reportable data is entered in the Department of Education’s public portal.