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AAU Weekly Wrap-up

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August 29, 2014

CONTENTS
CONGRESSIONAL ISSUES
AAU Submits Comments on Draft Senate HEA Reauthorization Bill
OTHER
Faculty Survey Shows Researchers Still Spending Significant Time on Administration NEW

CONGRESSIONAL ISSUES

AAU SUBMITS COMMENTS ON DRAFT SENATE HEA REAUTHORIZATION BILL

AAU on August 26 submitted comments to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, on his draft legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The letter thanks Chairman Harkin for his continued support of higher education and expresses support for his overall legislative goal of implementing more rigorous institutional performance measures. The letter cautions that adding regulations that fail to strengthen accountability unnecessarily raises the compliance burden and is a waste of government and university resources. The letter provides additional views on graduate education, accreditation, student aid provisions, and international education programs.

Further, the AAU letter endorses comments that will be submitted to Chairman Harkin by the American Council of Education on behalf of a number of higher education associations, including AAU.

OTHER

FACULTY SURVEY SHOWS RESEARCHERS STILL SPENDING SIGNIFICANT TIME ON ADMINISTRATION NEW

Faculty researchers are spending an average of 42 percent of their research time on federal projects meeting administrative requirements rather than on active research, according to the latest faculty workload survey conducted by the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). The report of the organization’s 2012 survey, released with preliminary results in April and in final form in early August, shows little change from the organization’s 2005 survey. Its results are closely aligned with those of the 2013 assessment conducted by the National Science Board, which the Board referenced in its March 2014 report, “Reducing Investigators’ Administrative Workload for Federally Funded Research.”

The FDP queried more than 13,000 principal investigators at universities and research centers around the country. Respondents reported that most of the time they spent on administrative work was taken up by proposal and report writing; dealing with project finances, personnel, and federally required effort reporting; and complying with requirements associated with human and animal research subjects.

The FDP is a cooperative initiative among 10 federal agencies and 119 institutions that receive federal research funds, sponsored by the National Academies’ Government, University, Industry Research Roundtable. The purpose of the FDP is to reduce the administrative burdens associated with federal research grants and contracts.

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