DC Digest - October 18, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- Obama Signs NASA Authorization Bill
- Sanford Professor Speaks at National Policy Forum in DC
- Federal Stimulus Grants to Duke Top $200 Million
- President Urges Congress to Extend American Opportunity Tax Credit
- In Return for Federal Dollars, Administration Wants Results
- Journalists' Group Urges Changes in Student Privacy Laws
- Duke Students and Faculty to Participate in DC Science Fest
OBAMA SIGNS NASA AUTHORIZATION BILL
President Obama on October 11 signed into law the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (S. 3729), which authorizes $58 billion for the space agency in fiscal years 2011-2013. The new law paves the way for development of a new heavy-lift launch vehicle, adds one extra shuttle flight, provides support for the International Space Station until 2020, and authorizes federal funding for development of commercial spacecraft. The law also authorizes sustained funding for Earth and space science programs, as well as robust support for aeronautics and space technology development.
SANFORD PROFESSOR SPEAKS AT NATIONAL POLICY FORUM IN DC
The Obama Administration should identify and strategically use its sources of leverage to achieve foreign policy objectives, said Bruce Jentleson, Duke professor of public policy and political science, during a national policy forum held Tuesday at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC. Jentleson, who also holds a consulting appointment as senior adviser to the US State Department policy planning director, outlined five key principles of how the United States should exert its leverage during a session entitled "Constraints, Austerity, and US Foreign Policy."
A Strategic Foreign Policy (DukeNews)
FEDERAL STIMULUS GRANTS TO DUKE TOP $200 MILLION
Duke University researchers recently hit an important milestone in total funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The federal grants for academic research and development are intended to create long-term health benefits and economic opportunity.
Through the end of September, Duke has won 360 competitive grants for research and construction totaling $202 million from seven federal agencies. More than 80 percent of the funding has come from the National Institutes of Health.
Federal Stimulus Grants to Duke Top $200 Million (DukeNews)
Doing Good: Duke Research and Development (Durham Magazine)
PRESIDENT URGES CONGRESS TO EXTEND AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT
President Obama held a Rose Garden event on October 13 to highlight a new Treasury Department report showing that millions of American students have benefitted from the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and to urge Congress to make the tax benefit permanent. The credit expires at the end of 2010.
A White House statement says that the Treasury Department report found that the credit increased overall tax benefits for higher education expenses by 90 percent between 2008 and 2009 and helped more than 12.5 million students and their families pay for college in 2009. The AOTC, created through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), provides a tax credit of up to $2,500 per student, calculated at 100 percent of the first $2,000 in tuition and 25 percent of the next $2,000.
Obama Calls for Extending Tax Break for College Students (The Washington Post)
AOTC White House Statement (WhiteHouse.gov)
IN RETURN FOR FEDERAL DOLLARS, ADMINISTRATION WANTS RESULTS
President Obama campaigned on a promise to provide billions more dollars to students and colleges, and he has delivered.But the president has also sought to use federal funds as leverage, offering carrots to colleges and states that embrace his goals, and sticks to those that hinder them. More than any of his predecessors, he has demanded results in exchange for federal dollars, requiring grant applicants to set benchmarks for improvement and threatening to withhold aid from programs that fail to prepare students for jobs.
In Return for Federal Dollars, Administration Wants Results (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
JOURNALISTS' GROUP URGES CHANGES IN STUDENT PRIVACY LAWS
The Society of Professional Journalists has urged Congress to modify the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The journalism group's resolution, which was approved at their annual convention, calls on Congress to clarify "FERPA to exempt from disclosure only information that would explicitly link financial aid information, poor grades, non-criminal disciplinary records or other deficient academic performance with specific identifiable students," and to shift responsibility for enforcing the law from the Education Department to "an agency more knowledgeable about records policies, such as the National Archives and Records Administration." - From InsideHigherEd
Society of Professional Journalists Calls for FERPA Reforms (Student Press Law Center)
DUKE STUDENTS AND FACULTY TO PARTICIPATE IN DC SCIENCE FEST
Duke Alumni, Friends and Family who are in the Washington DC area are invited to stop by the USA Science and Engineering Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24 to meet a great team of Duke students and faculty who are showing off their research.
Duke's booths in this first-ever national science festival will be in Freedom Plaza at Pennsylvania Ave. and 14th Street. Look for the blue polo shirts!
Learn more about the USA Science and Engineering Fest at usasciencefestival.org