APLU Sends Letter Urging Congressional Leadership to Resume Regular Appropriations Process
In a letter to congressional leadership last month, APLU President McPherson urged Congress to resume the regular appropriations process. The letter acknowledged the need to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government through the election, but raised APLU’s significant concerns with a long-term Continuing Resolution – which would “continue inadequate funding levels; ignore inflation; create deep uncertainty, both in the federal agencies and at our universities; and undercut needed funding increases for research, student aid, and other important programs.”
Read the full letter.
Higher Ed Groups Send Federal Agencies Letter on Graduate Student Health Insurance under the Affordable Care Act
In a letter to the U.S. Secretaries of Treasury, Health & Human Services, and Labor, several higher education groups, including APLU, urged the departments to provide a permanent solution to the issue of subsidized health insurance for graduate students and Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance. In February, the agencies released guidance allowing institutions to continue to offer the coverage through the 2016-2017 academic year; however, universities will then need to discontinue offering this coverage or face steep penalties. This discontinuation would be especially harmful to graduate students who may be forced into ACA exchanges that may not offer coverage as favorable as what universities are currently providing. The letter from the higher education groups offers possible solutions to the agencies, which would allow institutions to continue offering the coverage.
The letter from the higher education organizations follows a letter in June from a group of 17 Senate Democrats urging the administration to change its interpretation of the Affordable Care Act.
Read the full letter.
National Science Foundation Seeking Feedback on New Strategic Plan
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is beginning the process of updating its strategic plan. As a part of that process, the NSF has asked for feedback from APLU members on the vision, core values, strategic goals, and strategic objectives described in the current NSF Strategic Plan. This is a great opportunity for interested parties at APLU universities to offer input to the NSF.
The deadline for submissions is September 27, 2016. Individuals can provide feedback on the NSF plan here.
APLU, AAU, and COGR Submit Joint Comment Letter on Proposed Changes to NIH Stem Cell Policy
APLU joined with AAU and COGR in comments to National Institutes of Health on proposed changes allowing for certain human-animal chimera research.
The organizations express support for the proposed changes, noting that “these models may be valuable for the study of disease pathology and have the potential to address the critical shortage of donor organs.” The letter recommends that the agency take into account additional factors related to research parameters and funding criteria.
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