DC Digest - April 25, 2011
In Today's Issue:
- DOD Awards $191 Million in Research Funding
- Duke Expresses Concern Over Title VI Funding
- President Obama Nominates Duke Alum to be Ambassador to Jordan
- 'Breathing Room' on State Authorization for Distance Ed
- House Dear Colleague Letter Urges FY10 Funding for NEH in FY12
- Brodhead Joins 136 College Presidents in Pledging Greater Efforts on Economic Development
- State Department Proposes Improvements to ITAR Regulations
- Assistant Secretary Ochoa Blogs About Duke Visit, Obama's Education Goals
DOD AWARDS $191 MILLION IN RESEARCH FUNDING
The Department of Defense announced on Friday that it will issue 27 awards to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The program expects to award $191 million over five years. The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program supports research by teams of investigators who intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate research progress. The awards will be made by the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and are subject to successful negotiation between the institution and DoD.
Duke is a member of three MURI projects selected to receive FY11 funding. For a complete list, click here.
DOD Awaards $191 Million in Research Funding (defense.gov)
DUKE EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER TITLE VI FUNDING
President Brodhead sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan last week, expressing concern over a slated disproportionate reduction in funding for Title VI international programs. In the letter, President Brodhead urges Secretary Duncan to take a strong stance in maintaining the United States' international education capacity.
Letter to Secretary Duncan on Title VI Funding (pdf)
PRESIDENT OBAMA NOMINATES DUKE ALUM TO BE AMBASSADOR TO JORDAN
President Obama last week announced the nomination of Duke alum Stuart E. Jones for Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Jones is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Prior to this post, Mr. Jones served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Mr. Jones has held numerous positions both domestically and abroad since joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1987. Mr. Jones received a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts (WhiteHouse.gov)
'BREATHING ROOM' ON STATE AUTHORIZATION FOR DISTANCE ED PROGRAMS
The Education Department did not go nearly as far as college leaders would have liked in backing away from a new rule requiring colleges to get approval from every state in which they operate distance education programs. But in announcing Tuesday that, for the next three years, the agency would not meaningfully punish institutions that have shown "good faith" efforts to get such approval, the federal government sought to provide some additional latitude, its officials say.
ED outlined new guidance to state authorization rules in a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) issued April 20. The DCL defines "good faith efforts" and establishes Department efforts to help create a state-by-state directory of state authorization rules and work with states to better align authorization processes.
Despite the Department's offer of deferral, Duke will pursue complete elimination of the regulation through legislative means.
'Breathing Room' on State Authorization (InsideHigherEd)
Dear Colleague Letter on State Authorization (pdf)
HOUSE DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER URGES FY10 FUNDING FOR NEH IN FY12
A group of 67 House Democrats sent a letter to appropriators on April 20 urging them to provide $167.5 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in FY12, the same as the enacted FY10 level. (The final FY11 level is $154.7 million.)
The letter calls for strong NEH funding because, “investment in the humanities advances critical U.S. interests by fostering a globally competitive workforce, strengthening civic engagement, preserving our cultural heritage, and protecting our national security.”
Dear Colleague Letter on NEH FY12 Funding (pdf)
BRODHEAD JOINS 136 COLLEGE PRESIDENTS IN PLEDGING GREATER EFFORT TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
A group of 137 university presidents and chancellors has signed a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke pledging to make specific, expanded efforts to advance regional and national economic growth. The letter was spearheaded by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, who is co-chair of the Secretary’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Along with individual institutions, AAU, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities signed the letter. (NOTE: Another university president agreed to sign the letter after it was published earlier this week, raising the total number of universities participating to 137.)
University Presidents Pledge Greater Effort to Economic Development (pdf)
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WEBSITE EASES SEARCH FOR REGULATIONS
The federal government has created a website, Regulations.gov, which enables visitors to find regulations from nearly 300 federal agencies and to easily search for and submit comments on proposed rules. The site features a “What’s Hot” section with some of the most viewed regulations, as well as pages on “Newly Posted Regulations” and “Regulations with Comment Periods Closing Soon.”
STATE DEPARTMENT PROPOSES IMPROVEMENTS IN ITAR REGULATIONS
The U.S. State Department published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on April 13 that would narrow the definition of “defense services” under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), so that the definition no longer captures certain forms of assistance or services that do not warrant ITAR control. These changes have been proposed by the Department of State as a part of the President’s Export Control Reform effort.
Among other elements, this policy revision would exclude data available solely in the public domain from being considered a defense service. Under current rules, when universities provide training or other assistance related to the design, development, manufacture or modification of defense articles on the U.S. munitions list (such as space satellites) they must seek export licenses under ITAR in order to offer such services to foreign individuals, even if the information concerns data available in the public domain.
The Office of Federal Relations is working with Duke officials to draft an appropriate response and will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OCHOA BLOGS ABOUT DUKE VISIT, OBAMA'S EDUCATION GOALS
Eduardo Ochoa, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, writes about the Department of Education's committment to supporting "America's Future Leaders" in a post on the White House Blog. Referencing an earlier visit to Duke as a lecturer in Duke's Reimagining the Academy series, Ochoa says,
"...through thoughtful dialogue in venues like this and others like it, I have found great support for the President’s goal [to become the most educated country in the world by 2020]. There is a hunger for higher education to come together and speak with one voice about what it will take to reach the President’s goal, and what higher education as a whole will do to make it happen."
America's Future Leaders (WhiteHouse.gov)