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White House Infrastructure Plan Would Help America Compete Globally, AAU President Says

The following is a statement from Association of American Universities President Barbara R. Snyder about the White House’s American Jobs Plan:

Earlier today, the White House unveiled the details of President Biden’s sweeping plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure, create millions of good-paying jobs, and put the nation on track to strengthen our global economic and scientific leadership even as nations like China try to displace us.

This proposal would help undo years of neglect to the foundation of America’s scientific and innovation leadership by ramping up investments in basic science, critical technologies, research infrastructure, innovation incubators, and manufacturing. The president’s plan will expand the nation’s research capacity through investments in a new directorate of the National Science Foundation, a new ARPA-C focused on climate-related research, renovated and expanded research infrastructure and laboratories, and other measures.

For decades, federal investments in research and higher education have paid enormous dividends in medical advancements, new technologies, and enhanced national security. They helped produce high-wage American jobs and the most talented workforce in the world. However, in recent years, the share of our gross domestic product we invest in these crucial areas has declined precipitously; this proposal will help reverse that short-sighted trend.

We look forward to working with the administration and lawmakers on this and other proposals before Congress that will strengthen the government-university partnership and invest in the programs and research that have made America the world’s greatest scientific and economic leader.

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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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