Managing Foreign Influence


Inappropriate foreign influence on university research is a legitimate, non-partisan, and growing concern. Federal funding agencies have issued new requirements and guidance, federal law enforcement agencies have increased prosecutorial activity, and Congress has signed new legislation and sought information on how the academic research community is responding to this evolving issue.

The University of Illinois’ goal is safeguarding research from threatening foreign government influence as well as ensuring that our research environment is welcoming to all individuals and empowering them to work in a safe and inclusive manner with the highest ethical standards.

Export Controls

The University of Illinois is committed to advancing knowledge through open research in which all methodologies, data, and research results are freely shared with the public. Balanced against this commitment is a responsibility to protect the national security and economic interests of the U.S., which can be achieved in part by establishing mechanisms for complying with export controls.

In this context, “exports” refer both to shipments of tangible commodities and software to recipients outside the U.S., as well as to disclosures of certain kinds of information to foreign nationals wherever located, including faculty, staff, and students in the U.S. The term “export controls” refers to the federal laws and regulations that deal with the distribution of strategically important technology and information to, and certain financial transactions with, foreign nationals in the U.S. and persons and entities in foreign countries.

Federal export control laws impact many activities on campus, including research, purchasing equipment and materials, international travel, hiring, and collaborations with colleagues in other countries. Export control laws may require obtaining special approval from the government prior to engaging in these activities and may in some cases prohibit certain activities altogether.