Kevin C. Cooke, Ph.D.

Director, Research Policy

Ny’lyjah Cain
Senior Associate, STEM Education & Research Policy

CoR News (October 17, 2016)


CoR NEWSOctober 17, 2016

To: APLU Council on ResearchFrom: APLU CoR Staff

  • Annual Meeting Update

APLU has put together a fantastic slate of speakers and collaborative sessions for our Annual Meeting, to be held on November 13 – 15, 2016, in Austin, Texas. Come join more than 1,400 senior higher education leaders from across the country and all of North America to learn about current challenges and opportunities facing public universities and to develop new ideas and initiatives to strengthen your institution.

Speakers you won’t want to miss for their insights on discovery, learning, and engagement in public higher education include:

  • John King, Jr., Secretary, U.S. Department of Education;
  • William McRaven, Chancellor, University of Texas System;
  • Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor, University of Kansas;
  • Peter Faricy, Vice President, Amazon Marketplace; and
  • Dan Balz, Political Correspondent, The Washington Post.

Please see the attached agenda for further information on the sessions put together by the CoR Executive Committee as well as other CoR members. We hope you can make it and strongly encourage you to register here. Please also be sure that you have a hotel reservation as space is going quickly!

  • New APLU Assistant Director of Research Policy

I am delighted to introduce Sarah Rovito as APLU’s new Assistant Director of Research Policy for the Council on Research. She is superbly qualified to serve CoR and APLU research policy needs, distinguishing herself among over 50 applicants. She will be responsible for policy analysis, regulatory concerns, and research promotion. Sarah has an extensive engineering background and holds a master’s degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a Draper Laboratory Fellow. She also earned a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Systems and Control Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. She looks forward to meeting many of you at the Annual Meeting. Please contact her at srovito@aplu.org for any assistance.

  • Request for Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016 Comments

The Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016 (HR 3537) recently passed the House of Representatives and has been delivered to the Senate. This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to add certain synthetic substances (including eleven cannabimimetic agents, three synthetic opioids, and eight other drugs) to Schedule I.

APLU seeks to gather information from our members regarding the research-related use of the analogues specified above in order to determine whether or not to advocate for a research exemption. If you or someone at your institution would like to provide input, please contact Sarah Rovito (srovito@aplu.org) as soon as possible.

  • Last Call for NSF Strategic Plan Comments

A reminder that the NSF is still accepting feedback on the Vision, Core Values, Strategic Goals and Strategic Objectives in the NSF’s current Strategic Plan, which can be found here. While we understand that several institutions have already collected and submitted feedback, comments – which are not anonymous and may become public record – continue to be accepted here.

  • Federal Trade Commission Study on Patent Assertion Entities

On October 6, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its study “Patent Assertion Entity Activity” which includes an analysis of 22 patent assertion entities (PAEs) and 2,500 affiliates and related entities. The FTC defines PAEs as businesses that acquire patents from third parties and seeks to generate revenue by asserting them against alleged infringers. The study acknowledges the patent and licensing and litigation system is complex and finds that PAEs use different business models, not all which focus on nuisance litigation. The study provides recommendations for legislative and judicial reform but also cautions the findings are not generalizable to the entire universe of patent assertion entity activity and changes must be supported by evidence. The study does not focus on university technology transfer practices or discuss Bayh-Dole.

APLU, along with the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), and Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) issued a statement in response, stating certain aspects of the report could be helpful to the national conversation about ways to support and improve our patent system.

  • Associations Letter in Support of Ag-Biotech Funding

APLU, along with a number of agricultural and scientific organizations, sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Leadership in support of funding for agriculture and biotechnology education funding in the final fiscal year 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The letter expresses support for $3 million in FY2017 for the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture to help the public better understand science and fact-based information about agricultural biotechnology.