- Senate Postpones Final Vote on U.S. Innovation and Competition Act
- Comments for Department of Education Title IX Hearings Due Next Friday
- White House Releases Full FY22 Budget Proposal; Updated AAU Summary Available
- Eric Lander Confirmed as OSTP Director
- AAU Joins CUPA-HR Comment Letter to DOL on Wage Levels for Immigrant Workers
- White House Announces “COVID-19 College Challenge” as Part of Efforts to Get More Americans Vaccinated
- Upcoming Events
SENATE POSTPONES FINAL VOTE ON U.S. INNOVATION AND COMPETITION ACT
Last week the Senate deferred a final vote on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act (S. 1260), until after senators return from their Memorial Day recess; final consideration is expected to start on June 8. AAU is currently analyzing the manager’s amendment, which will likely be revisited when the Senate resumes considering the bill; it incorporates several proposed Democratic and Republican amendments to the legislation.
During consideration last week, the Senate rejected two proposed amendments about which AAU had expressed significant concerns. One, from Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), would have required NSF to certify that universities of all kinds were meeting certain campus free speech requirements. Another, from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), would have created cumbersome new security vetting and reporting requirements for individual researchers receiving funds under the act that would have involved multiple federal agencies.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held press conferences on Wednesday in Buffalo and Rochester, NY, to advocate for the innovation and economic growth that the legislation, if passed, would spur. Officials from several institutions, including University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf and University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi, spoke at the briefings.
Information about all amendments and votes to date on the legislation is available here.
COMMENTS FOR DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TITLE IX HEARINGS DUE NEXT FRIDAY
Comments are due to the Department of Education on Friday, June 11, as part of the virtual public hearings the department is holding next week on a new rule to better enforce Title IX provisions regarding campus sexual misconduct. The hearings will be held June 7-11. For more information, see the OCR announcement here. AAU is drafting a comment letter and will share it as soon as it is finalized and submitted.
WHITE HOUSE RELEASES FULL FY22 BUDGET PROPOSAL; UPDATED AAU SUMMARY AVAILABLE
Last week, the White House released President Biden’s full FY22 budget proposal . AAU staff have made several updates to our summary of the proposal, and will continue to make updates as we further analyze the budget.
ERIC LANDER CONFIRMED AS OSTP DIRECTOR
Last week, the full Senate voted to confirm President Biden’s nomination of Eric Lander to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he will serve as the president’s chief science adviser. Biden has elevated the position to Cabinet level. Lander, a geneticist and mathematician, is president and founding director of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He was confirmed via voice vote, and AAU tweeted our congratulations to the new director.
AAU JOINS CUPA-HR COMMENT LETTER TO DOL ON WAGE LEVELS FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS
Earlier this week, AAU joined the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources and other higher education associations on a comment letter to the Department of Labor. The letter came in response to a department request for information on a rule, published near the end of the previous administration, on determining prevailing wages for certain immigrants and other workers. This includes individuals on H-1B visas.
“Unfortunately, DOL’s January 2021 Final Rule, Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States (Final Rule), made changes to the computation of wage levels in a manner that will negatively impact the numerous immigrant and nonimmigrant employees on campus,” the letter says. CUPA-HR, which annually collects wage data on the higher education workforce, outlines in the letter what data sources the department could consider if they plan to make changes to how they compute prevailing wage levels in higher education.
WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES “COVID-19 COLLEGE CHALLENGE” AS PART OF EFFORT TO GET MORE AMERICANS VACCINATED
The White House announced the “ COVID-19 College Challenge” on Wednesday as part of a broader effort to get 70 percent of adult Americans vaccinated by Independence Day. The White House is asking colleges and universities to join the challenge and commit to taking three key actions to increase vaccine distribution among their students and communities:
Ensure every student, faculty, and staff member knows they are vaccine-eligible and has the ability to find a vaccine distribution site.
Organize their campus communities by identifying vaccine advocates on campus and creating a plan to get as many campus community members vaccinated as possible.
Deliver vaccine access for all campus community members by making it as easy as possible to obtain vaccine shots on or near campus.
The monthlong challenge officially begins Friday, June 4, and lasts until Independence Day. Throughout the month, higher education institutions, national organizations, local government leaders, religious and other community organizations, businesses, employers, social media influencers, celebrities, athletes, young people, and thousands of volunteers across the nation will mobilize to increase vaccine access and distribution.