April 4, 2016
A special investigative panel in the U.S. House of Representatives this week intensified its probe into the use of fetal tissue in biomedical research with a dozen new subpoenas aimed at researchers and abortion providers. This second round of inquiries, two of them directed to individual faculty members at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, deepens concerns among some education groups and scientists that personal information revealed in the investigation could make researchers the target of extremist violence. Several research organizations came to the defense of the university in a letter to Blackburn released yesterday. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) jointly urged the panel to put in place clear rules about how personally identifiable information would be used and safeguarded.
April 1, 2016
Three umbrella groups representing U.S. institutions of higher education have joined in objecting to a special House panel’s requests for documents pertaining to fetal tissue procurement and research, heightening a conflict over the privacy and safety of personnel involved in those activities. “Whatever the intention of the panel, these subpoenas are seen by many as an attempt to intimidate people involved with fetal tissue research,” Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, said in a statement. “The release of names with their institutional connections could well lead to individuals being targeted for harassment or worse. The rhetoric around fetal tissue research already inflames an issue that generates both passionate support and opposition. Of course, Congress has an important oversight role, but we see no legitimate public purpose for collecting vast lists of individuals involved with this research.”
April 1, 2016
The Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities have deep concerns about a Congressional panel’s plan to subpoena universities for the names of faculty members, graduate students and other personnel involved in fetal tissue research. “Many scientists and physicians are deeply concerned for their safety and that of their patients, colleagues and students in light of inflammatory statements and reports surrounding fetal tissue donation,” the associations wrote in a letter Thursday to leaders of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. “We are troubled that this information is being sought without any rules or process in place to govern how the panel will use and protect personally identifiable and other sensitive information. …These requests appear to go beyond the panel’s stated scope of ‘relevant matters with respect to fetal tissue procurement.’”
April 1, 2016
Seven public urban universities have banded together to form a new collaboration aimed at helping more low-income, underrepresented students earn degrees. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities are leading the creation of the new group, which is dubbed Collaborating for Change. “Collaborating for Change isn’t just about outlining steps public urban universities can take to improve student success, it’s about helping them actually implement those changes so we can begin to see the progress and improvement that is needed,” APLU President Peter McPherson said in a written statement.
April 1, 2016
Medical schools and universities are protesting Republicans’ decision to issue subpoenas for the names of researchers involved in fetal tissue studies, saying it could put their safety at risk. The Association of American Medical Colleges, which represents all of the country’s medical schools, expressed its “significant concerns” in a letter on Thursday to the heads of the congressional committee set up to investigate Planned Parenthood. "Initial requests sent to our member institutions failed to articulate why information that identified individuals was being requested and how the Panel intended to use this information,” the letter continues. “No assurances were provided to institutions that the Panel would institute any measures to ensure that this information would be safeguarded." The letter urged committee leaders to establish bipartisan rules on how the information will be used and safeguarded. The Association of American Universities, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities joined the letter.
April 1, 2016
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of American Universities sent a letter to the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives — which is investigating fetal tissue research — opposing subpoenas that could reveal the identities of people involved with the research including researchers, staff and graduate students. “Many scientists and physicians are deeply concerned for their safety and that of their patients, colleagues, and students in light of inflammatory statements and reports surrounding fetal tissue donation,” the letter says. “We are troubled that this information is being sought without any rules or process in place to govern how the Panel will use and protect personally identifiable and other sensitive information.”
January 1, 2016
"Over the past year or more there has been so much momentum building for support for NIH and a recognition that the agency has really been neglected in terms of funding for a long time," says Jennifer Poulakidas, Vice President for Congressional and Governmental Affairs at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and co-president at United for Medical Research, an alliance advocating for increased NIH funding.
November 18, 2015
Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has been elected as chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
June 16, 2015
Patent reform legislation targeting patent trolls continues to move forward as the Senate’s PATENT Act, introduced into the Senate at the end of April, was voted out of Committee and to the Senate floor by a 16-4 vote on Thursday, June 4, 2015; and the Innovation Act, introduced into the House of Representatives in February was voted to the House Floor by a 24-8 vote on Thursday, June 11, 2015. As we reported at the end of April, multiple bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate this year targeting litigation and pre-litigation tactics often employed by patent trolls. These bills include the TROL Act, targeting abusive patent demand letters; the STRONG Patents Act, addressing post-grant proceedings and abusive patent demand letters; and the two omnibus bills, the Innovation Act and the PATENT Act.
March 31, 2015
In the first part of this post, we reviewed the concept of faculty emotional ownership in an innovative teaching community as a way to reduce Not-Invented-Here obstacles to scaling up effective teaching practices for student success. In this follow-up, we’re going to focus on emerging developments that are centered on course-related collaborations. That usually involves some kind of repository of shared course resources, but it’s important to see the repository as a tool for supporting the collaboration (not the other way round, where the shared course is seen as the targeted result and the collaboration is just there to support it).