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THE LION IN THE PATH: Challenges & Opportunities for Research Universities in Uncertain Times

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2017 Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions
Tobin L. Smith | Association of American Universities

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THE LION IN THE PATH: Challenges & Opportunities for Research Universities in Uncertain Times

  1. 1. THE LION IN THE PATH: Challenges & Opportunities for Research Universities in Uncertain Times Tobin L. Smith | Association of American Universities ORAU | March 9, 2017
  2. 2. THE LION
  3. 3. TODAY’S LION(S) ▪ Extreme Polarization & Gridlock ▪ Dismal Fiscal Situation – Budget Caps ▪ Extreme Uncertainty
  4. 4. Normal Legislative Process
  5. 5. Normal Legislative Process “There are two things you don’t want to see being made -- sausage and legislation.” --Otto von Bismarck German Chancellor, 1871-1890
  6. 6. Legislative Process Today
  7. 7. Party Polarization: 1879 - 2014 In 1992, 103 members were elected from swing districts versus 35 in 2012
  8. 8. Legislative Productivity: ▪ 112th Congress (2011-2012): 284 Public Laws ▪ 80th Congress (1947-1948): 900 Public Laws ▪ 113th = 296 Public Laws 114th = 329 Public Laws
  9. 9. Increasingly Polarized Public
  10. 10. Sequestration and the Growing Innovation Deficit http://www.innovationdeficit.org
  11. 11. Growth in Investment in R&D www.innovationdeficit.org
  12. 12. o As of February 25, President Trump needs to fill nearly 2,000 appointments (CNN Politics) – 400 require Senate confirmation – 400 direct presidential appointments that don’t require confirmation o 1,200 Schedule C vacancies that do not require Senate approval o Yet to fill… – OSTP Director – Undersecretary for Higher Education – OIRA Director – NASA Administrator
  13. 13. o As of February 25, President Trump needs to fill nearly 2,000 appointments (CNN Politics) – 400 require Senate confirmation – 400 direct presidential appointments that don’t require confirmation o 1,200 Schedule C vacancies that do not require Senate approval o Yet to fill… – OSTP Director – Undersecretary for Higher Education – OIRA Director – NASA Administrator
  14. 14. Productivity of Trump’s Congress • Eight bills signed • Of those eight, two related to STEM • Not atypical --
  15. 15. …and then there is Twitter!
  16. 16. The Budget • Entitlements protected • Defense sequestration ended • Budget caps remain on non- defense discretionary spending • Trillion-dollar infrastructure package (plus a boarder wall) • Climate, applied energy & social science research likely targets • Significant cuts for NOAA & EPA • Elimination of NEH • And, 2017 not yet completed
  17. 17. Immigration ▪ Travel Ban ▪ H-1Bs ▪ DACA/Dreamers
  18. 18. Regulatory Reform Recent Legislation 21st Century Cures Act • Signed into law December 13, 2016 • Sets in motion many of the recommendations made by the National Academies Committee on Federal Research Regulations and Reporting Requirements, including the Research Policy Board. • Several other specific regulatory relief provisions, e.g. review of COI policies; alternatives to effort reporting; harmonization of animal research regulations; subrecipient monitoring. American Innovation and Competitiveness Act • Signed into law January 6, 2017 • Interagency Working Group to reduce research regulatory burden; micropurchase threshold; specific provisions addressing pre-award and other requirements. National Defense Authorization Act • Signed into law December 23, 2016 • Creates a $10,000 or higher micropurchase threshold.
  19. 19. Regulatory Reform Executive Action Regulatory Freeze • Mandatory 60 day review of new and pending regulations by the new administration Executive Orders • Two existing regulations to be repealed for every new rule • Agency Regulatory Reform Task Forces to review and recommend rules for repeal or modification Federal Hiring Freeze • Reduce govt. thru attrition • Impact on retention/recruitment • Intergovernmental Personnel Act
  20. 20. Scientific Infrastructure • One time NSF and DOE grants to support infrastructure improvements/upgrades at universities and national laboratories • Support for R&D at NSF, NIST, DOE, and DOD on smart infrastructure. (e.g. Electric Grid, Cyber Security) • Mid-scale infrastructure (NSF Ten Big Ideas) • Expanded broadband capacity and access • Enhanced data infrastructure • Public-Private and other creative financing mechanisms
  21. 21. AAU’s Campus Climate Survey & Title IX ■ 2015 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct – More than 150,000 students from 27 universities participated in the survey – Average response rate was 19.3 %. (23.2% grad response rate; 17.4% undergrad response rate). – Campus response rates ranged from 7% to 53% – Goal of survey was to better understand attitudes & experiences of students and to inform polices & practices to reduce sexual assault & misconduct ■ Campus Activities Survey – To learn what steps campuses have taken to address & prevent sexual violence on AAU campuses – Report forthcoming ■ Title IX Compliance
  22. 22. Challenge or Opportunity???
  23. 23. Stay Tuned!
  24. 24. Contact Me Toby.Smith@aau.edu @SciPolGuy www.aau.edu

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