Press Release: University Researching Hypersonic Missile Tech Closes Communist Confucius Institute

National Association of Scholars

New York, NY; June 20, 2023 — On June 14, Alfred University confirmed that it will close its Confucius Institute (CI), an arm of Chinese soft power on American college and university campuses. The university announced the closure two weeks after the chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced an investigation into the school’s CCP relationships.

Alfred University is the recipient of millions of dollars in Department of Defense (DoD) grants, some of which focused on developing ceramic material for hypersonic missiles. The proximity of the university’s CI to such sensitive research was a cause of concern first discussed in a June 1 op-ed by National Association of Scholars (NAS) President Peter W. Wood and Senior Fellow for Foreign Affairs and Security Studies Ian Oxnevad in The Daily Signal.

“The Chinese Communist Party has spent millions of dollars and many years influencing American higher education to its benefit,” said Peter Wood. “The discovery by Ian Oxnevad that the Department of Defense was actively funding a sensitive project at Alfred, which hosted a Confucius Institute, set off alarm bells.”

The NAS first wrote about Confucius Institutes in a 2017 report, Outsourced to China, which examined China’s soft power influence in American higher education and data on funding, hiring, and academic freedom within CIs.

Alfred University first opened its Confucius Institute in 2009. The university also maintains a research contract with China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, which participates in classified People’s Liberation Army programs and research. In an attempt to combat Chinese espionage on campus, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2021. The bill prohibits institutions with CIs from receiving DoD funding. Many schools have closed their CIs in the years since, fearing the loss of lucrative DoD contracts. The NAS notes that 110 schools have closed or are in the process of closing their CIs, while 11 institutes remain open.

Oxnevad added, “There is no reason an American school should partner with the Chinese Communist Party as an excuse for foreign language education—especially if that institution receives funds from the Department of Defense. The closure of Alfred University’s Confucius Institute is a win for American national security. However, with this win, we are reminded of the many other colleges and universities that still host foreign-funded institutions, and the importance of transparency in foreign gifts, contracts, and partnerships.”

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at


If you would like more information about this issue, please email Chance Layton at [email protected].

Adobe Stock Standard License

  • Share

Most Commented

July 12, 2023


Scott Gerber’s Case in Context

Ohio Northern University seems intent on chiseling into granite its protocol for getting rid of a faculty member who disagrees with the institution’s woke ideology, even when the......

July 19, 2023


On Collegiality

Increasingly, collegiality is being added to the traditional triad of excellence that wins professors tenure. And now, the issue of collegiality is a fraught minefield, and has become&#......

June 20, 2023


Letter: Academic Freedom Requires More Than Words

There is still no word from Ohio Northern University administrators after their removal of Professor Scott Gerber without due process—a clear violation of Gerber's rights......

Most Read

April 14, 2023


Faculty Fight for Academic Freedom at Harvard

While many faculty quietly endorse views they privately disagree with, Harvard faculty band together to resist administrative overreach, overzealous students, and protect academic freedom....

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...