DC Digest - July 8, 2011
In Today's Issue:
- New NAICU Listservs For University Staff
- Students Least Likely to Persist Benefit Most from Extra Financial Aid, Study Finds
- AAU Urges Priority for Research and Student Aid in a Budget Agreement
- Patent Reform Stakeholders Await Senate Vote on House-Passed Patent Reform Bill
- A Call for a Balanced Approach to Regulation of University Research
- U.S. Agencies to Promote International Research on Problems of the Developing World
NAICU LISTSERVS FOR UNIVERSITY STAFF
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) has asked us to share with you some information about the various listservs they offer that are tailored to specific institutional roles. These listservs are designed to enhance NAICU's ability to quickly and efficiently deliver relevant information and are available only to staff of NAICU member institutions via an on-line List Serve Subscription Request form.
A brief description of each listserv is below:
- GovNet shares legislative updates and action alerts, as well as specific requests for institutional expertise and information. (Subscribers: Campus government relations staff)
- IRNet is NAICU's newest list serve, with updates on campus data reporting issues, such as IPEDS, the Department of Education's new College Accountability and Transparency lists, and other surveys or reporting requirements. (Subscribers: Campus institutional research staff)
- PRNet, a source of media updates, press queries, requests for examples of campus innovation, and copies of legislative updates and action alerts sent to PresNet. (Subscribers: Campus public relations, communications, and marketing staff)
- JobNet, newly created in response to numerous member requests, is a free service for sharing senior-level job openings at NAICU member colleges, including president, provost, and other cabinet-level positions. (Subscribers: Campus administrators tracking or posting such positions)
These are member-only list serves, and NAICU places no limitation on the number of staff members from each institution who can subscribe. Staff can easily subscribe or unsubscribe at any point.
As noted above, subscription requests for any of the listservs should be made using NAICU's on-line List Serve Subscription Request form.
STUDENTS LEAST LIKELY TO PERSIST BENEFIT MOST FROM EXTRA FINANCIAL AID, STUDY FINDS
Two students, both eligible for Pell Grants for the needy, are randomly chosen to receive extra need-based aid as they start as first-time, full-time freshmen. One is considered very likely to complete a four-year degree; the other, an at-risk student, is a likely dropout. Whom does the grant help more?
A research study released Thursday
concludes that the at-risk student considered likely to drop out will
benefit more -- and that the extra money might make the "most likely to
succeed" student more prone to leave without finishing a degree.
For needy students overall, the study found, the extra financial aid had
little statistically significant impact on whether students stayed
enrolled in college and persisted toward graduation. In some cases, the
money even appeared to have a negative effect. But on the most
disadvantaged students, it had a positive impact, making them more
likely to continue toward a degree.
A Nudge for the Neediest (InsideHigherEd)
Students Least Likely to Persist Benefit Most from Extra Financial Aid, Study Finds (ChronicleofHigherEd)
AAU URGES PRIORITY FOR RESEARCH AND STUDENT AID IN A BUDGET AGREEMENT
AAU President Hunter Rawlings sent a letter to Administration and congressional leaders on Wednesday urging that as they negotiate an increase in the federal debt limit and a framework for future federal spending and revenue levels, they “make student financial aid and research and innovation clear priorities for continued federal support.”
The letter notes that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform made clear that maintaining the nation’s ability to make critical investments must be a goal of any serious deficit-reduction plan. “The Commission also recognized,” adds the letter, “what previous generations of federal policymakers wisely decided long ago—the federal government has an essential role to play in supporting education and research, because they are critical to building a stronger economy and a better America.”
AAU Urges Priority for Research and Student Aid in Budget Agreement (pdf)
PATENT REFORM STAKEHOLDERS AWAIT SENATE VOTE ON HOUSE-PASSED PATENT REFORM BILL
The next step in the six-year quest for patent reform is Senate approval of the House-passed bill (H.R. 1249). Although the Senate passed its own patent reform bill (S. 23) in March, the chamber has been poised to take up the House-passed measure as soon as Senate floor time is available.
However, because of the focus on debt ceiling negotiations, votes in the Senate have come to a virtual standstill. The Senate planned to take up the patent reform bill passed by the House, now known as the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249), starting July 11, but consideration has now been delayed. Senate Judiciary Committee leaders and a broad group of patent reform stakeholders hope the chamber will pass H.R. 1249 without amendment.
Last week, the six higher education associations working together on behalf of patent reform sent a letter to Senator Leahy urging him to work with Senate leadership for an early vote on the bill.
As noted in the associations’ letter, H.R. 1249 closely resembles the Senate-passed bill. Both bills “contain provisions that will improve patent quality, reduce patent litigation costs, and provide increased funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).” The associations—and nearly all other patent reform stakeholders—prefer the provision in the Senate-passed bill that creates a revolving fund for the USPTO that prevents patent fees from being diverted to other agencies. But they endorse the House-passed measure, which retains the role of congressional appropriators in the process, as still providing an effective means of preventing fee diversion.
A CALL FOR BALANCED APPROACH TO REGULATION OF UNIVERSITY RESEARCH
In an article published in the summer 2011 edition of Issues in Science and Technology, staff members of AAU and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) argue that regulatory and reporting requirements for university research have become excessively burdensome and costly. They call on the federal government to adopt a more balanced approach to regulation, and they offer a framework to help initiate the process.
The article offers a series of recommendations for improved regulation of university research, including exempting universities from certain types of regulation; harmonizing regulations to avoid duplication and redundancy; tiering regulations to the level of risk involved; focusing on performance, not process; and better synchronizing regulation of university research with the way university research is actually conducted.
Reforming Regulation of Research Universities (pdf)
U.S. AGENCIES TO PROMOTE INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH ON PROBLEMS OF THE DEVELOPING WORLD
The U.S. government's top science and foreign-aid officials announced on Thursday a new effort to connect American researchers with their counterparts overseas to study natural disasters, water scarcity, and other problems facing developing nations.
The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development said they would work together to support new and existing scientific partnerships between universities and other research institutes as part of the program, known as Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research, or PEER.
The collaboration is a response to a changing world in which environmental and health problems no longer end at national borders and where scientific inquiry is increasingly multinational and multidisciplinary, said Subra Suresh, the NSF's director.
2 U.S. Agencies to Promote International Research on Problems of the Developing World (ChronicleofHigherEd)
NSF Release on the Program (NSF.gov)