July 13, 2017
House Republicans issued a fiscal 2018 budget plan on Wednesday that rejects the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate or sharply cut so-called indirect-cost payments to universities for medical research. The plan, offered by Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the National Institutes of Health, makes clear that indirect-cost payments on NIH grants should continue "to the same extent and in the same manner" as has existed.
July 13, 2017
The Trump administration's first budget proposal was greeted coolly by Republican lawmakers (amid deep consternation from advocates for higher education) when it was released in May. Many members of Congress avoided direct criticism but suggested they would not go along with major cuts in popular programs, including a plan to slash the rates at which the government reimburses universities for their own spending on research overhead. Wednesday President Trump's party offered a more direct rebuke, as the appropriations panel in the House of Representatives released a 2018 spending bill that rejects most of the administration's proposed changes.
July 13, 2017
The National Institutes of Health’s budget would get a modest 3.2% raise, to $35.2 billion, in a draft spending bill released by a House of Representatives committee today. To the relief of U.S. research universities, the measure would also explicitly block a proposal by the Trump Administration to slash by two-thirds the payments that NIH disburses to cover the overhead costs of the research it funds. Furthermore, the bill ignores a Trump plan to abolish NIH’s widely lauded global health center.
July 6, 2017
Put expensive high-tech scientific equipment in a former citrus packing house more than 60 years old, throw in an overworked air conditioner, a corroding foundation, and the sticky Central Florida climate, and you’ve got problems.The University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center is doing cutting-edge work to find cures for new biological threats to the U.S. citrus crop, but its researchers and staff housed in some of the facility’s older buildings are also waging a more immediate fight against bugs, rodents and other fauna that thrive in the muggy summer heat.
June 28, 2017
The idea that the adoption of digital instructional technologies will lag without faculty buy-in is becoming widely accepted by college administrators and (smart) vendors alike. So, too, is the reality that professors are unlikely to buy in unless they are can be persuaded that a particular piece of software or digital course content will help them teach, their students learn, or both.
June 27, 2017
Remarks by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this week focused attention on an idea that would fundamentally change higher ed: repealing its foundational piece of legislation — the Higher Education Act of 1965 — and replacing it with a new law. Ms. DeVos first suggested in May that the law should be scrapped. And earlier this week, she told the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, "Adding to a half-century patchwork will not lead to meaningful reform. Real change is needed."
June 14, 2017
The Department of Education appears to be planning to keep around one of the most high-profile higher ed initiatives of the Obama administration. Department staff are taking steps to update the data feeding the College Scorecard, a tool that allows prospective students to look at measures like the debt burden of an institution's graduates, by September of this year, according to higher ed groups. That would be counted as a victory by proponents of more transparency in higher ed, even though the Scorecard wasn’t among the Obama efforts the Trump administration promised to eliminate.
June 12, 2017
The future of accreditation depends on the idea that, while it is important to track graduation rates and other performance indicators, it is more important for accreditors to regulate the quality of education and pathways to content mastery, according to a recent op-ed by Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors Executive Director Joseph Vibert.
June 12, 2017
Becoming the first woman and the first African-American chancellor of the University of Kansas seemed, in many cases, more remarkable to others than to Bernadette Gray-Little herself. “For a number of people that I met here in Lawrence, especially women, it was extraordinarily important and significant,” Gray-Little said. “...They didn’t know that they would ever see this day. There was some similar reaction from members of the African-American community who were alums, or people who worked here, who lived in the community — a sense that this was very important to their experience for this to happen.”
June 9, 2017
Facing protests from senior scientists, including members of its own advisory board, the National Institutes of Health on Thursday abandoned a plan to help younger researchers by imposing a general three-grant limit. Instead, the NIH is moving forward with a more complicated formula in which scientists who win a first grant under a program designed to aid first-time applicants will get priority for their second grant.