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AAU President Applauds Authorization of New University-National Security Initiative

Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman regarding language in Sec. 1286 of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515) to create a new initiative for universities and national security agencies:

AAU thanks FY19 National Defense Authorization Act conferees for authorizing a new initiative to enable the Department of Defense and research universities to more effectively engage and address foreign threats on campus. Our universities share a responsibility with federal partners to ensure that the intellectual property and other proprietary information developed or housed at our universities are not susceptible to academic exfiltration, espionage, or exploitation.

National security is paramount, and we must carefully balance security controls with the free flow of fundamental scientific information. For the U.S. to maintain its global scientific and technological preeminence, basic research must remain open and collaborative. This new initiative will play a pivotal role in convening key stakeholders to find workable solutions for existing and future threats. We thank the conferees for adopting this sensible provision to allow for better collaboration with our federal partners.

Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery.

Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research, are improving human life and wellbeing through research, and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens.

AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.