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News & Media

Washington Update

November 28, 2018

Department of Education Releases Draft Title IX Regulations
The U.S. Department of Education released its long-awaited proposed regulations on the application of Title IX to sexual misconduct. Although the proposed regulations have been publicly released, they have not yet been published in the Federal Register. Therefore, the clock has not yet begun on the sixty-day comment period. APLU released a statement to reinforce the commitment of public universities to safe campuses and fair processes.

As expected, the proposed regulations would create a narrower scope of application of Title IX relative to sexual misconduct while mandating processes the Department suggests are needed to ensure fairness for both respondents and complainants. In a Washington Post op-ed, Secretary Betsy DeVos outlined the rationale for the Department’s proposed changes. The law firm Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP released a summary that may also be helpful.

APLU Issues Statement on 2018 IIE Open Doors Report
APLU President Peter McPherson issued a statement following the release of the 2018 Open Doors Report, which is published by the Institute of International Education and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs each year.

The report found that new enrollment among international students at U.S. colleges and universities fell more than six percent over the past academic year, even as the total number international students reached a record high. Including returning students and graduates enrolled in the Optional Practical Training program, the overall number of international students in the United States increased 1.5 percent from the previous year.

In his statement, President McPherson said the “global preeminence of the American higher education system must not be taken for granted” and the decline in new international student enrollment “should be of concern to university leaders and policymakers alike.”

APLU Urges Congress to Complete FY2019 Funding Bills 
Lawmakers in the House and Senate continue to work towards wrapping up FY2019 appropriations. Although five of the FY2019 appropriations bills have been signed into law by the president, federal agencies funded by the remaining seven appropriations bills are currently operating on a stopgap spending bill set to expire December 7.

Recognizing that many of these bills contain funding for agencies and programs that support scientific research and training of our science and research workforce, APLU President Peter McPherson sent a letter to Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to find a bipartisan path forward before the upcoming funding deadline. The letter emphasizes that, “Robust, predictable funding for science, research and education is essential to enable the U.S. to remain at the cutting edge of scientific breakthroughs that further innovation, our global competitiveness, and our economy.”

NCSES Releases FY2017 Higher Education R&D Numbers
Last week, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) released a report detailing FY2017 higher education research and development (R&D) expenditures. The report states that total R&D expenditures reached $75.3 billion, up 4.7 percent from $71.9 billion in FY2016. This number represents the second straight year of increased federal funding for R&D, both in current and constant dollars, since FY2009-2011. However, through its InfoBrief, NCSES says that federal funding for higher education R&D increased 1.7 percent between FY2016 and FY2017 when adjusting for inflation. Further analysis of higher education’s R&D expenditures can be found on NCSES’s website.

Commerce Dept. Seeks Input on Identifying “Emerging Technologies”
Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that seeks the public’s input on how to define emerging technologies that are essential to national security. This ANPRM was prompted by Section 1758 of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes the Department of Commerce to establish controls on the export, re-export, or transfer of emerging and foundational technologies. Comments for this ANPRM are currently due by December 19, 2018. APLU, as well as others in the university and science community, are requesting an extension of that deadline.

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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