DC Digest - September 10, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- Federal Stem Cell Funding Wins Temporary Reprieve
- Congressional Staff Delegation Visits Duke to Learn about DoD-Funded Research
- GAO Issues Report on Indirect Cost Reimbursements for Defense Basic Research
- Fewer Young Voters See Themselves as Democrats
- Opinion: Setting Quality Standards in Higher Ed
- HED/USAID Funding Opportunity for Higher Education Partnership in Mexico
- NEH Chairman Jim Leach to Speak at Duke September 20
- Associations Comment on Proposed Regulations on Gainful Employment
FEDERAL STEM CELL FUNDING WINS TEMPORARY REPRIEVE
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that federal financing of embryonic stem cell research could continue while the court considers a judge’s order last month that banned the government from underwriting the work. While the move was praised by advocates for the research, the appeals court made clear it was not making a final decision. That means the reprieve could be short-lived and the fate of the funding could continue to be whiplashed by seesawing court rulings as the case moves through various appeals and courts.
On August 23rd, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled in a lawsuit filed by two researchers working on alternatives to the cells that the funding violated the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, a federal law that prohibits federal tax money from being used for research that involves the destruction of human embryos. Lamberth on Tuesday rejected a request to lift the stay pending an appeal, and the Obama administration appealed that decision to the higher court. Justice Department lawyers argue that the funding does not violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment because no federal money is used to actually destroy embryos. Federal funding is available only for experiments using cells obtained from embryos that have been destroyed using private money.
In a written statement, the NIH and Justice Department said: "We are pleased with the Court's interim ruling, which will allow this important, life-saving research to continue while we present further arguments to the Court in the weeks to come."
The Office of Federal Relations (University) and the Office of Government Relations (DUMC) will keep the campus updated of relevant developments.
CONGRESSIONAL STAFF DELEGATION VISITS DUKE TO LEARN ABOUT DoD-FUNDED RESEARCH
Last week, a staff delegation from Senator Kay Hagan’s (D-NC) office, the Senate Armed Services Committee and U.S. Army visited campus to gain a better understanding of Department of Defense-funded research at Duke. The group met with campus officials and researchers who gave the delegation an overview of DoD funding at the university, the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, and specific DoD-funded projects at Duke. Vice Provost for Research Jim Siedow, Engineering Professor Leslie Collins, Dean Bruce Kuniholm, and Associate Dean April Brown all spent time with the delegation.
Duke Program in American Grand Strategy
Signal Processing and Landmine Detection (Leslie Collins' Lab)
DARPA-funded Study to Detect Infections Before Symptoms Appear (Duke News Release)
GAO ISSUES REPORT ON INDIRECT COST REIMBURSEMENTS FOR DEFENSE BASIC RESEARCH
The federal government's policies for reimbursing research universities for the indirect costs of the studies they conduct are inconsistent and outdated, and a broad review is warranted, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report released Wednesday. The GAO report found great variation in how the Defense Department and other federal agencies that sponsor academic research set the rates at which they reimburse institutions, and says that the nearly 20-year-old cap on the amount that institutions can be reimbursed for the administration portion of their indirect costs limits reimbursements for many institutions.
GAO Report on Indirect Cost Reimbursements (GAO.gov)
FEWER YOUNG VOTERS SEE THEMSELVES AS DEMOCRATS
The college vote is up for grabs this year - to an extent that would have seemed unlikely two years ago, when a generation of young people seemed to swoon over Barack Obama. Though many students are liberals on social issues, the economic reality of a weak job market has taken a toll on their loyalties: far fewer 18- to 29-year-olds now identify themselves as Democrats compared with 2008.
Fewer Young Voters See Themselves as Democrats (New York Times)
OPINION: SETTING QUALITY STANDARDS IN HIGHER ED
Government efforts to define and measure learning and other indicators of colleges' success will fall short if they occur outside the academy and ignore the faculty, argues A. Lee Fritschler, former assistant secretary for postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.
Setting Quality Standards in Higher Ed
HED AND USAID FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP IN MEXICO
Higher Education for Development (HED), in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), anticipates making one award of up to $800,000 for four years to a U.S. college or university for a partnership with one or more higher education institutions in Mexico. This partnership will focus on promoting postsecondary skills training to improve education and empower youth.
Applications are due Nov. 29, 2010.
NEH CHAIRMAN JIM LEACH TO SPEAK AT DUKE SEPTEMBER 20
Jim Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities, will deliver a lecture entitled Civility in a Fractured Society at Duke's Nasher Museum of Art on Monday, September 20. Organized by the Office of the President, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, and Franklin Humanities Institute, the event will begin at 5:30pm and is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited so attendees are encouraged to arrive 15-20 minutes early.
Jim Leach's Bio (NEH.gov)
ASSOCIATIONS COMMENT ON PROPOSED REGULATIONS ON GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT
A group of higher education associations submitted comments on Thursday on proposed Department of Education regulations on occupation-specific training programs that prepare students for gainful employment. The comments address the scope of the regulations (specific recommendations to limit impact on public and nonprofit institutions are offered), implementation hurdles, and other specific Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) recommendations
Associations Comment on Proposed Regulations on Gainful Employment (AAU.edu)