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Iowa State University
Policy & Advocacy


APLU and its Council on Governmental Affairs (CGA) along with the Council on Strategic Communications (CSC) work closely with fellow higher education groups, the business community, scientific organizations, and others on a range of issues and causes.  A core focus of our effort involves drawing on the collective strength of our member institutions to effectively advocate for federal policies and funding levels that support and enhance the work of public research universities.

Our Goals

  • To support student success through federal policies that make public universities more accessible and affordable regardless of economic background.
  • To ensure strong levels of federal research investment so that public universities can continue to carry out cutting-edge research and develop innovative new technologies that help power the U.S. economy forward, improve health, strengthen national security, and enhance our overall quality of life.
  • To collectively build strong relationships with members of Congress and the Executive Branch to advance the mission of public universities.
Photo Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

Hot Issues

  • Government Shutdown

    Prior to the partical government shutdown, APLU President Peter McPherson released a statement about the impacts on public universities and their communities.

    "...A partial shutdown would have a real impact on public universities and their ability to conduct research in areas that are key to our economy, national security, and quality of life. The National Science Foundation, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, National Endowment for the Humanities, and NASA would be among the agencies that would shutter operations under a government closure..."

    Read the full statement

  • 2018 Farm Bill

    APLU President Peter McPherson released a following statement hailing the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

    “APLU applauds the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which makes critical investments in agricultural research, education, and extension efforts. The bill boosts support for our nation’s land-grant universities by enabling those institutions to bolster essential research programs and help modernize outdated research facilities while educating the next generation of the agricultural workforce. We are also grateful that the bill strengthens Cooperative Extension efforts aimed at helping farmers, at-risk youth, and others who benefit from various community-based initiatives.

    “The education, research, and extension work of our land-grant universities improves and saves lives, strengthens communities, and ensures the next generation will carry that mission forward. The Farm Bill supports all of those efforts..."

    Read the full statement

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    The decision to end the DACA program without a clear legislative solution in place unquestionably creates great uncertainty for the roughly 800,000 young people currently enrolled. APLU President Peter McPherson has urged Congress to act now.

    Click here to read the full statement

Current Work

White House Budget
APLU monitors federal agency and program budgets of relevance to the higher education and scientific research community. In addition, APLU closely follows the congressional appropriations process.
University of Wisconsin Madison
APLU and our members work to ensure strong funding for federal financial aid programs.  Together we engage federal policymakers as they work to update and revise higher education and student aid legislation and regulations.
University of Akron
APLU promotes research and science policy issues important to our member institutions, particularly strong investments in research funding to ensure the U.S. remains the global innovation leader.  Our work also includes bolstering support for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
University of Arkansas
APLU advocates on behalf of agricultural research, extension, and education funding as well as funding for research and education programs at USGS, NOAA and EPA. The association is also heavily involved in advocating for beneficial language regarding university priorities in each Farm Bill. Staff also tracks federal legislation and administration activities relevant to atmospheric, climate, ecological, forestry, fish & wildlife, oceanic, rangeland management, and water sciences.
North Carolina State University
Technology transfer and intellectual property issues are of critical importance to APLU institutions. It is essential that public policy encourages innovation on our campuses which drives our economy, and improves health and quality of life for so many by incentivizing discoveries and moving good ideas to full development and commercialization. This technology transfer process is a vital role of research universities.
Temple University Student Center
APLU drives an agenda to support the international work of U.S. public research universities, including engagement in international development, internationalization of curriculum and campuses, including study abroad, and the development of globally competent students.
Tax and finance related policy issues broadly impact universities.  Tax benefits that support students and families to make higher education more affordable, incentives to promote charitable giving that supports institutions’ educational and research missions, bonds to facilitate expansion and improvement of university infrastructure, and policies that impact universities as tax-exempt entities and employers, are some of the issues in this area on which APLU advocates.


Featured Publications

Golden Goose Award

Golden Goose AwrdThe Golden Goose Award helps to demonstrate the human and economic benefits of federally funded research by highlighting examples of seemingly obscure studies that have led to major breakthroughs and resulted in significant societal impact.



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