Six months later after announcing its launch of the Open Society University Network, the George Soros-backed Open Society Foundations publicized a gift to Bard College of $100 million over a ten-year period.
The foundation claimed that the gift “will strengthen and expand Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement initiatives.” According to the foundation’s announcement, Bard College is a “founding partner” of the Soros network along with Central European University.
Soros, a liberal billionaire philanthropist and financial backer of progressive causes, is well-known in philanthropy for funding progressive advocacy groups and policy proposals in the United States and in his native Hungary.
The Soros network formation was a move by Soros to create a “new model of global higher education.” As Accuracy in Academia noted in January 2020, the network’s announcement “read as a mix of progressive propaganda and a sort of alphabet soup, full of progressive terms and phrases such as ‘knowledge creation,’ ‘underserved communities,’ and ‘integrate learning.’”
The network planned to offer in-person and online programs to focus on displaced persons, refugees, Roma (or “gypsies”), and incarcerated people. Adding to Bard College and CEU, the network bragged that it had additional partners in Arizona State University, American University of Central Asia (located in Kyrgyzstan) and BRAC University in Bangladesh.
Soros’s foundation donated $1 billion to the nascent network at the time, which donation demonstrated how progressivism has permeated philanthropy and higher education.