- AAU Welcomes Tufts to Membership
- President Biden Issues Executive Order on Cybersecurity
- Endless Frontier Act and NSF for the Future Act Updates
- President Biden Expected to Release Full FY22 Budget Request May 27
- Education Department Releases $36B in New HEERF Funds, New Guidance Expanding Fund Uses, Additional Resources
- Upcoming Events
AAU WELCOMES TUFTS TO MEMBERSHIP
Yesterday, the Association of American Universities announced that Tufts University has joined the association. The addition of this leading research university brings AAU’s membership total to 66 institutions – 64 American and two Canadian members.
PRESIDENT BIDEN ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER ON CYBERSECURITY
On Wednesday, President Biden issued a new executive order on improving the nation’s cybersecurity. The order goes significantly further than previous executive actions to tighten the cybersecurity standards for software and networks used by United States government agencies, bolsters the ability of the federal government to share information about security threats, and creates a federal panel to review security breaches (modeled after incident-review panels for air and other disasters). “This Executive Order makes a significant contribution toward modernizing cybersecurity defenses by protecting federal networks, improving information-sharing between the U.S. government and the private sector on cyber issues, and strengthening the United States’ ability to respond to incidents when they occur,” says a White House fact sheet released along with the order. The fact sheet specifically mentioned recent high-profile security breaches like the SolarWinds incident and the Colonial Pipeline hack as motivating factors in issuing the order.
ENDLESS FRONTIER ACT AND NSF FOR THE FUTURE ACT UPDATES
Congressional panels held business sessions to consider two key pieces of legislation this week. The Senate Commerce Committee marked up and reported out the Endless Frontier Act (S. 1260) on Wednesday. The committee adopted more than 50 amendments to the bill, and the final text incorporating all amendments is available on the committee’s website.
The revised bill authorizes a total of $81 billion to NSF ($55 billion to base NSF and $26 billion to a new technology and innovation directorate), $17 billion to the Department of Energy, and almost $12 billion to the Department of Commerce over five years (fiscal years 2022-2026).
The Senate has issued notice of a procedural vote to begin consideration of the Endless Frontier Act on Monday, May 17. This will start a process to debate the legislation that is expected to last for at least several days.
The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology marked up the NSF for the Future Act (HR 2225) yesterday. The subcommittee considered and accepted 12 amendments. The bill authorizes the NSF for FY22 through FY26 and authorizes $73 billion over that time frame, inclusive of funding authorizations for a new directorate for science and engineering solutions. Full committee markup of the legislation is expected to be scheduled in the coming weeks.
PRESIDENT BIDEN EXPECTED TO RELEASE FULL FY22 BUDGET REQUEST MAY 27
The White House is reportedly preparing to issue its full, detailed fiscal 2022 budget request on May 27. While the White House already released an outline of President Biden’s discretionary spending priorities for the next fiscal year last month (AAU summary available here ), the full budget request will provide more details about Biden’s tax and spending proposals.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT RELEASES $36B IN NEW HEERF FUNDS, NEW GUIDANCE EXPANDING FUND USES, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Earlier this week, the United States Department of Education released $36 billion in emergency funding under the American Rescue Plan’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (also known as HEERF III). Details on the new allocations for institutions of higher education may be found here .
The department also released new guidance expanding uses for the funds and FAQs. The guidance focuses on: (1) supporting all vulnerable students, including students who did not complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid; (2) mitigating the spread of COVID, including vaccination of students and campus communities; and (3) reengaging students whose education was disrupted by the pandemic. The new guidance and FAQs may be found here .
Along with the guidance and FAQs, the department released a final rule that will allow institutions to provide relief funds under the legislation to all students, regardless of immigration status. Public and private non-profit schools may use their institutional funding to cover a variety of institutional costs, including lost revenues, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll. Institutions will have to continue to meet regular reporting requirements. Schools that received previous HEERF funding under the CARES Act will not need to apply for the new HEERF III funding.
In addition, the department has created a new Voluntary Decline Form for institutions that wish to decline funding or a portion of their funding from the American Rescue Plan. Any funding that is declined will be redistributed by the department to other institutions with the greatest need.
For additional information, see the U.S. Department of Education press release and the official Office of Postsecondary Education ARP site . To contact the department directly regarding HEERF, send an email to [email protected]
MAY 31 GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD 2021 SPONSORSHIP DEADLINE; More information here.