University leaders urge reduction of innovation gap

Tim Goral's picture

The erosion of federal funding for college student aid and research is a serious problem that has implications for the future of the nation, according to a letter sent to President Barack Obama and members of the 113th Congress.

The letter, sponsored by the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), and signed by Penn State President Rodney Erickson and 164 other U.S. university presidents and chancellors representing all 50 states, urges government leaders to "reject unsound budget cuts and recommit to strong and sustained investments in research and education."

The letter cites the increasing innovation gap, caused by the combination of reduced federal investments in research and higher education, additional cuts due to sequestration, and the enormous resources other nations are pouring into these areas, as a risk to U.S. economic and national security that includes consequences of "a less prepared, less highly-skilled U.S. workforce, fewer U.S.-based scientific and technological breakthroughs, fewer U.S.-based patents, and fewer U.S. start-ups, products and jobs."

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