The U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a hearing to discuss how foreign nations may be working to access and extract valuable science and technology research and development from U.S. colleges and universities. The hearing also explored the extent of the threat and what can be done to prevent or mitigate the foreign exfiltration of science and technology R&D from U.S. academic institutions, without stifling collaborative research activities within the academic sector.
In advance of the hearing, APLU, the Association of American Universities, the Council on Government Relations and the American Council on Education, issued a statement for the record underlining their members’ shared commitment to national security and to ensuring that intellectual property, proprietary information, trade secrets, sensitive data, and other classified and/or otherwise controlled government information developed or housed at these institutions is not susceptible to academic exfiltration, espionage, or exploitation. In addition, the statement praised joint efforts between the academic and national security communities to protect legitimate national security interests associated with scientific research conducted at universities.
The statement also raised concerns that the FBI recently disbanded its National Security Higher Education Board, and urged that a new forum be stood up where university leaders could collaborate with the FBI on important security matters.
APLU and 32 other higher education associations filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the third iteration of the Trump administration’s “travel ban.” The brief argues that travel restrictions put in place by a September 2017 presidential proclamation threaten the United States’ ability to attract international students and scholars. The Supreme Court will hear the case, Trump v. Hawaii, on April 25, the last oral argument day of the term. The full brief can be found online here.
BAA Letter on Agriculture Research
On Monday, APLU’s Board on Agriculture Assembly and the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation sent letters to the House Committee on Agriculture and Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry calling on lawmakers to strengthen federal research, extension, and educational efforts directed toward food, agriculture, and natural resources.