Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement calling on Congress to provide emergency funding to public universities to address and deal with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. This week, APLU and other higher education and research groups outlined requests for emergency federal higher education and research funding.
“Following guidance from federal health officials, public universities acted quickly to help stave off the community spread of the coronavirus. Now they’re on the front lines of treating the sick and finding cures that can end this global pandemic. As they have moved with great speed, however, they have incurred simultaneously extraordinary expenses and loss of revenue. The financial condition is an emergency. We urge Congress to provide immediate emergency relief to public universities as they face a huge challenge.
“Institutions need support to continue to deliver on their educational mission. That includes urgent and substantial funding to financially stabilize colleges and universities and support for students. Financial stability is essential to accomplishing all aspects of public universities’ mission and delivering on their commitment to students.
“Research needs are also urgent. Congress needs to provide support to institutions to: sustain payroll for researchers and research assistants; wind down federally funded research labs and ramp up others to address the pandemic; and provide bolstered funding for research agencies. These agencies are tasked with finding solutions to the current pandemic, preventing future ones, and securing our position as the world leader in innovation.
“Public universities are economic engines, civic centers, and an immense community resource. We urge Congress to take swift action to support and protect public universities as they face an extraordinary challenge.”