Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman on the release of the House-Senate conference committee’s final tax legislation.
As Congress moves to a final vote on the House-Senate conference committee’s bill, I remain deeply concerned that this legislation will have a negative impact on students, their families, and the colleges and universities that serve them. Passing this legislation will mean less money for student aid and for life-saving research at America’s research universities.
Though I’m relieved to see that many of the harmful provisions contained in the House bill have not been carried over into the final conference version, I remain troubled by certain provisions that will make higher education less accessible and less affordable. Taxing nonprofit educational institutions harms their ability to carry out the educational and research programs that serve the American public. Be it an excise tax on endowments or changes to the unrelated business income tax, redirecting funds from nonprofit universities to Washington is bad policy.
I hope Congress will recognize that these misguided efforts will unnecessarily harm students, stifle innovation, and weaken local economies. Meaningful, pro-growth tax reform should strengthen the higher education system that keeps our workforce and economy competitive, not imperil it.
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.
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