March 4, 2014– APLU President Peter McPherson today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.
“President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 takes some steps toward restoring investments in research and higher education. We certainly applaud the president’s high-tech manufacturing initiatives, which are helping U.S. businesses grow and advance using the expansive talent found throughout our nation’s college campuses. However, while the president understandably must operate within a tight budget framework, we are disappointed that agencies such as NIH would receive only slight increases while DoD basic research would be reduced significantly. Under this proposal, the overall federal basic research budget would be cut by one percent. We need strong investments in research across the board if we’re going to take meaningful steps to help close the innovation deficit and ensure a robust U.S. economy for many years to come.
“We applaud President Obama’s ongoing commitment to making college more affordable for more Americans, particularly those from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds. By calling for an increase to the Pell maximum grant award and important funding for other student aid programs, the president is backing up his rhetoric on the need to make college more accessible.
“The president’s budget has money for the development of a new college ratings system. APLU has put forward a detailed alternative plan that would meet many of President Obama’s goals of increased transparency and accountability without a ratings plan and the problems associated with it. Our proposal would provide better, more accurate consumer data while holding institutions accountable if they do a poor job of educating students and rewarding institutions that do an exceptionally good job. And all of those determinations would be made using an input-adjusted metric to account for differing student bodies so that fair comparisons can be made of all institutions. We hope to work with the administration to further develop such a proposal in order to better meet the needs of current and prospective college students along with their families, policymakers, and the public overall.”
Representing 235 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU is North America’s oldest higher education association with member institutions in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada, and Mexico. Annually, member campuses enroll 4.7 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.1 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $41 billion in university-based research.
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