Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement regarding a proposal from 10 Senate Republicans for a smaller Covid-19 relief package.
“While we appreciate the effort to develop a bipartisan pandemic relief package, the framework from 10 Senate Republicans falls severely short of what’s needed. The proposal completely ignores the massive financial hit that colleges and universities are facing and the impact to their critical mission.
“Just last week, APLU joined with fellow higher education leaders in calling on Congress to build on previous pandemic relief aid it approved and provide an additional $97 billion. The need for additional relief funding is critical. Between the loss of revenue and increased expenses to keep campuses safe, the 199 U.S. public research universities that are part of APLU’s membership collectively experienced a $20.8 billion financial hit in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Yet Congress has only provided $5.7 billion in institutional relief to address expenses and losses. Despite having a remaining $15.1 billion gap that doesn’t even account for cuts in state appropriations to these schools and the ongoing financial hit in the 2021 spring semester, this new proposal provides $0. It also does not help with research relief to address severe budget impacts to science agencies and their partnership with our nation’s universities.
“Our nation’s public research universities and the higher education sector overall are critical to the long-term economic recovery and growth of the nation. When these institutions and their students thrive, the nation thrives. Congress should move forward with a pandemic relief package that includes critical relief for colleges and universities.”