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AAU President's Report, January 16, 2018

To:      AAU Presidents and Chancellors
From: Mary Sue Coleman, President

Budget and Appropriations Update

Bipartisan negotiations have failed to produce a long-term spending agreement. To avoid a January 19 government shutdown, lawmakers are now reportedly considering another short-term continuing resolution (CR) through mid-February, which would be the fourth stopgap funding bill in four months. While some within the GOP are threatening to vote against another CR, citing negative impacts on the military, an increasing number of Democratic lawmakers are vowing opposition to any funding bill that fails to address DACA.

Reports of a possible accord surfaced last Thursday but were quickly disputed by a White House spokesperson who said negotiations still had "a long ways to go." The President said that in exchange for a DACA deal, any bill must include border security, and an end to both the diversity visa lottery and so-called "chain migration." 

DACA Update

The Department of Justice today announced it will ask the Supreme Court to overturn an injunction issued last week by a San Francisco-based federal Judge that ordered the Department of Homeland Security to continue accepting renewal applications while legal challenges to the program's termination progress. Unless lifted, the temporary injunction allows former DACA registrants who failed to renew by October 5, 2017 to apply, but does not permit new applications (USCIS compliance information available here.

The administration is also appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but by simultaneously petitioning the Supreme Court, the administration may be able to bypass the lower court. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the appeal absent a Ninth Circuit ruling, oral arguments may not be scheduled until fall 2018. 
AAU continues to press for a permanent legislative solution and I ask that you do the same. We stand ready to support and help amplify your campus efforts.

Advancing Our Agenda

In the Winter 2018 edition of Issues in Science and Technology Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels writes of the administration's proposal to cap NIH facilities and administrative (F&A) or 'indirect' cost reimbursements. President Daniels discusses the evolution of the government-university partnership, which - from its inception - has been financed through direct and indirect cost reimbursement, both allocated from the same funding pool. He details the impacts of the proposed F&A cap, saying, "Simply, the proposal would amount to a deep and inextricable cut to the private-public partnership at the foundation of the nation's biomedical research enterprise." 

In a joint op-ed, University of Florida President Kent Fuchs and UF senior Mariana Castro write in support of a permanent legal solution allowing Dreamers to stay in the United States. President Fuchs says that after years of educating Dreamers, deporting them would constitute "a major loss of unrealized human potential and benefit for our local communities, states and nation." A Dreamer herself, Ms. Castro writes that Congress must pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to "stand on the right side of history." She goes on, "I don't just feel American, I am American." 

Telling Our Story

In the Huffington Post, Indiana University President Michael McRobbie says that to prepare students for a lifetime of active citizenship, colleges and universities must recommit to teaching reverence for the truth. He writes, "Our society needs policy-makers, scientists, public servants, business executives and other leaders who have an understanding of the importance of truth and will serve as standard-bearers of this cornerstone of our country's democracy." 

Among Ourselves

University of Rochester President and CEO Joel Seligman has announced he will resign, effective February 28, 2018. The Board of Trustees has named Professor Richard Feldman as Interim President.

C: Association of Graduate School Deans
    Chief Academic Officers
    Council on Federal Relations
    Public Affairs Network
    Senior Research Officers

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