DC Digest - January 21, 2011
In Today's Issue:
- Department of Defense Funding Opportunities Presentation MONDAY
- What Republican Budget Hawks Would Eliminate
- Obama Calls for Clear Path to Federal Service for Students; Duke Provost Weighs In
- Obama Orders Government-Wide Review of Regulations
- Cornell President: Open Letter to Newly Elected Representatives and Senators
- Obama Eases Cuba Rules
- Duke Alum Named Swiss Ambassador to U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTATION
Jim Siedow, Vice Provost for Research, sent a memo yesterday inviting Duke faculty interested in funding from the Department of Defense to attend a presentation and Q&A session on funding opportunities at the DOD. The session will be hosted by Dr. Randy Avent (Chief Scientist, Basic Science Office, Office of the Director of the Defense Research & Engineering Directorate) and Dr. Nancy Vause (Director, Strategic and NICBR Partnership Office, U.S. Medical Research and Material Command) and will take place on Monday, January 24 from 2:45-4:30 in Room 212 Hudson Hall.
Memo from Jim Siedow to faculty interested in DOD funding (pdf)
WHAT REPUBLICAN BUDGET HAWKS WOULD ELIMINATE
The Republican Study Committee -- a G.O.P. caucus focused on cutting federal spending -- on Thursday unveiled its plans to cut the deficit, and a number of programs of importance to scholars would be eliminated under the proposal. Among them are: the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, Woodrow Wilson Center, and applied research supported by the Department of Energy. In addition, the bill would cut all the programs proposed (unsuccessfully) for elimination last year in the "Priorities in Education Spending Act." That bill would have eliminated many fellowship and scholarship programs for specific fields of study, as well as grant programs in such areas as veterinary medicine, and the education in math and science of Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians.
House GOP Group Proposes Deep Spending Cuts (Washington Post)
RSC Proposal (RSC.jordan.house.gov)
OBAMA CALLS FOR CLEAR PATHS TO FEDERAL SERVICE FOR STUDENTS; DUKE PROVOST WEIGHS IN
President Obama revamped the government's internship programs Monday, the latest effort by his administration to recruit recent college and trade-school graduates to the federal workforce. Three new career development programs, established by executive order, offer a faster path through what is currently a cumbersome hiring process.
"The existing competitive hiring process for the Federal civil service . . . is structured in a manner that, even at the entry level, favors job applicants who have significant previous work experience," Obama wrote in the order. "To compete effectively for students and recent graduates, the [government] must improve its recruiting efforts; offer clear paths to Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school . . . and provide meaningful training, mentoring and career-development opportunities."
In response to the order, Duke Provost Peter Lange on Tuesday sent a letter to Director of the Office of Personnel Management, charged with overseeing the program, to urge that regulations for the new "Pathways Programs" are written to enhance the pipeline into federal service for Duke students. In the letter, Lange points out that many Duke students wish to enter public service but that the current "broken" process discourages the brightest students from even applying.
Three-track Path to Federal Workforce to Replace Popular Internship Program (Washington Post)
Executive Order - Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates (WhiteHouse.gov)
Lange Letter to Director of Office of Personnel Management (pdf)
OBAMA ORDERS GOVERNMENT-WIDE REVIEW OF REGULATIONS
President Obama issued an Executive Order on January 18 directing federal agencies to re-examine and streamline federal regulations. The order was accompanied by memoranda on regulatory flexibility and regulatory compliance.
The President discussed the initiative the same day in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he said he aims to create a “21st-century regulatory system.” He wrote, “…we are seeking more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve the same ends—giving careful consideration to benefits and costs. This means writing rules with more input from experts, businesses and ordinary citizens….We're also getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money. We're looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation.”
Toward a 21st Century Regulatory System (Wall Street Journal)
Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review - Executive Order (White House.gov
CORNELL PRESIDENT: OPEN LETTER TO NEWLY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS
David Skorton, President of Cornell University, wrote an open letter to the members of the 112th Congress that was appaered on the Huffington Post this week. In his letter, Skorton outlines and encourages action on several legislative priorities, including access to higher education and student aid; immigration reform; research funding; and support for the humanities.
Higher Education Legislation Priorities: Open Letter to Newly Elected Representatives and Senators (HuffPost.com)
OBAMA EASES CUBA RULES
President Obama on Friday lifted a series of rules imposed by the Bush administration that have eliminated the ability of most American colleges to run exchange programs in Cuba. Mr. Obama's decision, made public late Friday, will ease constraints on cultural, educational, and religious travel to the island nation.
Lifting these rules has been a major goal of educators who promote study abroad. Victor C. Johnson, senior adviser for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, called the move "a very big deal" in that "our colleges once again will be able to exercise whatever free choice they want to make about whether students can study in Cuba or not."
Changes for America and Cuba (WhiteHouse.gov)
Obama Eases Cuba Rules (InsideHigherEd)
Obama Administration Eases Restrictions on Academic Travel to Cuba (Chronicle of HigherEd)
DUKE ALUM NAMED SWISS AMBASSADOR TO US
Manuel Sager (LLM '85) became ambassador of Switzerland to the United States on December 7, 2010. Sader's previous posts included heading the Political Affairs Division of Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and serving as executive director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Ambassador Manuel Sager's Bio (The Washington Diplomat)