DC Digest - November 5, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- Federal Research Priorities and Budget Webinar Nov 8-10
- Obama Reasserts Education and Research as Priorities
- Duke Signs Letter to Obama Regarding Study and Travel in Cuba
- Three Duke Alums Join Congress
- The 112th Congress - Duke Faculty Discuss What's Ahead
- Money for Science May Be Scarce in New Congress
- AAAS Analyzes Impact of Republican Budget Proposal on Federal Research Investment
- Duke Law's Arti Rai Reflects on Lessons Learned in Government Service
- U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Patent Infringement Case
- Pell Grant Funding: An Early Test for House Republicans
- Innovation Task Force Urges Senators to Pass America COMPETES Act
FEDERAL BUDGET PRIORITIES AND BUDGET WEBINAR NOV 8-10
The Office of Federal Relations is pleased to provide a live stream of an upcoming webinar that will feature officials from the federal science agencies providing updates and research priorities for their respective agencies. The webinar will take place from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on November 8, 9 and 10th. Attached you will find an agenda including room locations for the webinar. We encourage you to look over the agenda and attend any session that might be of interest to you. Please also share this information with others as you see fit.
There is also an opportunity to submit questions before or during the webinar to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to note which presentation the question is intended.
Please contact Melissa.email@example.com with any questions you may have regarding this webinar.
Federal Research Priorities Webinar Agenda (pdf)
OBAMA REASSERTS EDUCATION AND RESEARCH AS PRIORITIES
In a White House press conference held the day after Tuesday's midterm elections, President Obama reaffirmed his belief that investments in education and research are the key to a strong economy:
"...what I think the American people are expecting, and what we owe them, is to focus on those issues that affect their jobs, their security, and their future: reducing our deficit, promoting a clean energy economy, making sure that our children are the best educated in the world, making sure that we’re making the investments in technology that will allow us to keep our competitive edge in the global economy. "
Post-Election Press Conference (WhiteHouse.gov)
DUKE SIGNS LETTER TO OBAMA REGARDING STUDY AND TRAVEL IN CUBA
Twenty-eight universities, including Duke, have signed a letter to President Obama from NAFSA: Association of International Education calling for an end to regulations imposed in 2004 that have effectively barred most study abroad programs in Cuba. Only about 250 students from the United States studied in Cuba in 2007-8, compared to 2,100 in the last year before the regulations were imposed.
"Academic exchanges are often seen as a critical component of U.S. engagement in the world and have historically been a successful tool in building relations between nations," the letter says. "They also present students with an unparalleled educational opportunity. Both of these values of academic exchange hold true regardless of where in the world a student studies abroad, whether in China, Indonesia, England, or Cuba." -From InsideHigherEd
Letter to President Obama (NAFSA.org)
THREE DUKE ALUMS JOIN CONGRESS
Three Duke alumni have joined the ranks of Dukies in Congress after Tuesday's midterm elections. Republican Rand Paul (M ‘88) won his Senate bid for the state of Kentucky, Republican Ben Quayle (T ‘98) will serve as Representative of the 3rd District of Arizona, and Republican Mo Brooks (T '75) won the seat for the 5th District of Alabama.
Three Duke Alums Join Congress (DukeNews)
THE 112TH CONGRESS - DUKE FACULTY DISCUSS WHAT'S AHEAD
As the Republicans celebrate the electoral wave that brought them to power in the U.S. House of Representatives, questions were already beginning about how they will work with the Obama Administration and a deeply divided Senate.
Duke officials said the change in congressional leadership following Tuesday's election would have some effect on higher education policy, but that the essential relationship between research universities and the federal government had bipartisan support.
Compromise or Gridlock? (DukeNews)
MONEY FOR SCIENCE AND STUDENT AID MAY BE SCARCE IN NEW CONGRESS
Anyone who didn’t stay up all Tuesday night watching election results pour in woke up on Wednesday to a GOP-led House of Representatives and a Senate guided by a small Democratic majority. For higher education, the change in leadership could translate into cuts for the rapidly growing Pell Grant program and curtailed appropriations for research agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Money for Scientific Research May Be Scarce With a Republican-Led House (New York Times)
No Curveballs for Higher Ed (Inside Higher Ed)
AAAS ANALYZES IMPACT OF REPUBLICAN BUDGET PROPOSAL ON FEDERAL RESEARCH INVESTMENT
An analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) shows that rolling back non-defense R&D spending to FY08 levels, as recommended in the House Republicans’ proposal, would cut that funding by $8 billion, or 12.3 percent, from the President’s FY11 request. (The President’s FY11 request does not incorporate funding increases provided in FY09 and FY10 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which were one-time expenditures.)
The impact on individual agencies in FY11 would be even greater. The AAAS analysis shows that a return to FY08 funding levels would cut National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by more than nine percent from the President’s FY11 request, a cut of about $2.9 billion and a loss of about 4,100 research grants. For the National Science Foundation, the cut would be more than $1 billion from the FY11 request, a 19 percent cut, which would translate to 2,300 fewer research grants. And the Department of Energy Office of Science would lose $663 million, a cut of nearly 15 percent.
AAAS Analysis (AAU.edu)
DUKE LAW'S ARTI RAI REFLECTS ON LESSONS LEARNED IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE
Arti Rai, the Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law, has returned to her faculty position after serving as administrator of the Office of External Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A leading scholar of patent law and policy, the biopharmaceutical industry, innovation policy, administrative law, and health care regulation, Rai directed the External Affairs office, which serves as the chief PTO liaison to Congress, other executive-branch agencies, and international institutions on matters of intellectual property and innovation policy.
In an interview, Rai reviewed some of the insights gleaned during her “highly educational” term of government service. Her service confirmed some of her prior ideas about the administrative process and called others into question.
Rai Reflects on Lessons Learned During Government Service (law.duke.edu)
U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HEAR PATENT INFRINGEMENT CASE
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a patent case brought by Stanford University that could have serious ramifications for university ownership of patents stemming from federally funded research.
The case, Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems, involves several patents used to quantify HIV in blood samples that were developed by scientists conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research at Stanford. The primary focus of the case is the interpretation of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, also known as the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act. Among other things, the Bayh-Dole Act gives U.S. universities, small businesses and nonprofits rights to their inventions and other intellectual property resulting from federally funded research.
Supreme Court to Hear Patent Case (ACE.edu)
PELL GRANT FUNDING: AN EARLY TEST FOR HOUSE REPUBLICANS
Republicans swept back into control of the House of Representatives this week on a promise of shrinking the federal government and reducing budget deficits. But in terms of higher education policy, are they willing to face the political fallout that would inevitably accompany any plan to roll back the maximum Pell Grant award?
The new House leadership may not have much time to make up its mind. Here’s why: The current Congress has yet to pass any of the 12 separate fiscal year 2011 appropriations bills that will finance about one-third of the U.S. government over the next year.
An Early Test for House Republicans (Higher Ed Watch)
INNOVATION TASK FORCE URGES SENATORS TO PASS AMERICA COMPETES ACT
Under the auspices of two organizations, the Task Force on American Innovation and Tapping America’s Potential, a group of 250 organizations wrote to Senate leaders today urging them to pass the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act in time to work with the House to make it possible for the President to sign the reauthorization bill into law before the current act expires at the end of this Congress.
The group of industry, academic, and professional organizations—including AAU—noted that the original America COMPETES Act was enacted in 2007, with bipartisan support, as a response to concerns raised by the National Academies’ report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.” The legislation addressed the nation’s need to sustain its economic and technological competitiveness with added investments in basic research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
“We recognize the dire challenges facing the nation and the difficult choices on federal spending that policymakers must make,” said the letter. “Continued strong funding of basic research and STEM education programs will help ensure the economic growth needed to restore long-term fiscal strength and national prosperity.”