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Washington Update

College Transparency Act Reintroduced in House and Senate
The College Transparency Act, a longstanding APLU policy priority, was reintroduced in the House and Senate last week. APLU worked closely with champions in both chambers to provide technical feedback and build support across Congress. The bill would modernize the postsecondary education data reporting system – allowing for much more comprehensive information on student outcomes, ensuring students and families have better information as they consider higher education opportunities and providing institutions data to assist with evidence-based student success practices.

APLU, 340 Agriculture Groups Urge Congress to Fund Research Facilities Act in 2023 Farm Bill
APLU and more than 340 national, regional, and state agriculture, food, and forestry stakeholder groups sent a letter to congressional leadership urging House and Senate agriculture committee leaders to fund the Research Facilities Act in Title VII of the next Farm Bill.

“The United States has long been recognized as having the world’s most innovative and productive agricultural sector, but a massive deferred maintenance backlog and crumbling research infrastructure threatens our ability to innovate and lead at a time of heightened global competition,” said APLU President Mark Becker. “We must invest in research infrastructure that will empower American farmers to address a growing array of crop and livestock diseases, promote soil health and quality, and strengthen the independence of U.S. food supply.”

Manjit Misra Named Director of NIFA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of Manjit K. Misra as the new Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Prior to joining USDA, Dr. Misra served as a Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. For more than 30 years, he was Director of the University’s Seed Science Center. The Center has administered the National Seed Health System, authorized by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, since 2001. Dr. Misra also was founding Director of Iowa State’s Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products.

APLU released a statement praising the appointment of Manjit K. Misra as NIFA Director. “The public and land-grant community congratulates Manjit K. Misra on his appointment as Director of the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture,” said APLU Vice President for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Doug Steele. “Dr. Misra brings a unique and distinguished background to the role as a researcher, inventor, and administrator at a land-grant university focused on addressing the broad array of challenges facing agriculture.”

Department of Education Releases College Scorecard Update
The Department of Education released an update to the College Scorecard, including recent data on student debt and earnings from the National Student Loan Data System and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As a result of the new data, median earnings of former graduates four years after the completion of study are now available, as well as student-to-faculty ratios and additional demographic data, including race and ethnicity data for full-time staff.

NIST Publishes White Paper on the National Semiconductor Technology Center
The Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a white paper and factsheet this week detailing its vision and strategy for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), a component of the research and development program in the CHIPS and Science Act. The paper lays out the NSTC’s mission, core programs, and how NSTC will work with academic and industry partners to create affiliated centers across the country. The press release also highlights a notice in the Federal Register calling for nominations to join a committee that will select the NSTC board of trustees. 

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