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AAU President Troubled by Cuts to U.S. Innovation and Research Funding in White House FY21 Budget Proposal

Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman on the administration’s proposed FY21 budget.

While the president’s proposed FY21 budget prioritizes some areas of research – such as artificial intelligence – it also contains deep funding cuts and policy proposals that could harm America’s position as the world’s leader in research, science, and higher education.

The administration’s FY21 budget proposal would reduce investments in student aid and vital scientific research at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies, and would eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The proposal would also drastically cut or end several Education Department student aid programs including Federal Work-Study, the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, among others.

I am most troubled that these cuts come at a time when other countries are seriously challenging the United States’ leadership in higher education, scientific research, and innovation. For our nation to maintain its position as a leader in global innovation, it is imperative that America reinvest in the government-supported research and the government-university partnership that have made our nation and its universities, laboratories, technology, and economy the envy of the world.  

We must not turn our backs on the partnership that, since World War II, has made the United States stronger, safer, and more prosperous. I urge Congress to work together to produce a bipartisan budget that invests in our nation’s capacity to innovate and ensures we can continue to lead on the global stage.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

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

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