December 14, 2018
The $867 billion farm bill passed by Congress this week includes important wins for land-grant institutions, especially historically black colleges. The bill, which is set to go to President Trump's desk, would eliminate a provision of the law that for decades required 1890 land-grant universities, including 19 HBCUs, to spend most of their federal extension funding in a calendar year.
October 23, 2018
In August, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a plan to move two crucial bi-partisan—and independent—research-related agencies out of Washington, D.C., and restructure them as smaller subsidiaries of the Office of the Chief Economist. It was an announcement that bewildered many USDA observers—and even the agencies’ approximately 690 employees, some of whom were made aware of the news as we were reporting it. At the time, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said the department planned to move the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which is responsible for funding agriculture research at land-grant universities, and the Economic Research Service (ERS), which publishes non-partisan research reports on trends in food and agriculture, out of the nation’s capital to save money on payroll and rent, move researchers closer to the agricultural community, and improve ERS’s poor job retention rate.
August 6, 2018
In an effort to slow the increasingly rapid spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States, a group of Midwestern universities plans to unite to research the troubling trend. "Global health leaders all say this is one of the key problems we will see in healthcare over the next century," said Paul Plummer, a Iowa State University professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine who will lead the effort. "Our goal is to improve research and education efforts."
July 27, 2018
Iowa State University will establish and lead a new research center into antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a joint announcement Thursday from two university organizations. The Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education will be based at the Ames campus. The institute's formation will be a result of a task force on antibiotic resistance in production agriculture created in 2014 by the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Federal health officials have said antibiotic-resistant bacteria annually cause at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States. The misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture and overprescription and patient noncompliance in human health care are leading contributors to the resistance problem, experts have said.
March 27, 2018
With a goal to help more students graduate from college and succeed in the workforce, the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities has announced a major “transformation cluster initiative.” This effort comes out of APLU’s newly minted Center for Public University Transformation.
December 11, 2017
With Republicans trying to pass a tax-reform bill before Christmas, the University of Illinois is actively lobbying to keep the tax-free status of tuition waivers for grad students, among other provisions that could make higher education more expensive. UI President Tim Killeen sent a letter Wednesday to the leaders of the conference committee that is trying to reconcile the U.S. House and Senate versions of the bill.
November 20, 2017
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told the heads of the land grant universities on Tuesday that they should not count on money from the Agriculture Department to make up for any cuts to their budgets from state governments. Perdue told the convention of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities that university heads should tell their legislatures that "they cannot expect to replace funds that are lost through the local appropriations process."
October 24, 2017
Issues facing the world are not divided into academic departments, and universities should reflect that reality in their search for solutions, Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said at the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium. The big issues almost always require social sciences as well as traditional life sciences,” McPherson said during a panel on breaking down silos in grant work. “Just think about the big issues, you need people along with the technical solution.”
June 9, 2017
Auburn University continues to take an active role in the conversation regarding food insecurity at home and abroad. Recently a number of administrators were tapped to examine domestic and global food security. June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn, Auburn's incoming president Dr. Steven Leath, and Paula Hunker, director of strategy and policy for Auburn's Hunger Solutions Institute, participated in the Challenge of Change Commission.
May 17, 2017
The Challenge of Change Commission, established by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), last year, has released a report identifying solutions for the global food system. The APLU convened the commission to examine challenges to food security and make recommendations on the actions required by public research universities to meet global food needs by 2050. The group is comprised of prominent university, government, non-governmental organizations, and business leaders.