University of Oregon interim president Robert M. Berdahl and Kimberly Andrews Espy, UO vice president for research and innovation and dean of the graduate school, traveled to Washington, D.C., the week of April 16 to discuss UO priorities with members of the Oregon delegation and agency officials and to ad vocate for research and student aid. Over several days Berdahl and Espy met with Oregon Senators Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D), and Oregon Representatives Peter DeFazio (D), Greg Walden (R), Earl Blumenauer (D), Kurt Schrader (D), and Suzanne Bonamici (D).
During these visits, Berdahl thanked delegation members for their ongoing support of the university and outlined the University of Oregon’s priorities for the FY2013 budget. The president reminded the delegation of the importance of their support for research and student aid to Oregonians despite the difficult budget environment in Washington, D.C. In addition, they highlighted the work of the University of Oregon to provide a high-quality, affordable education to Oregon students through programs such as PathwayOregon, which leverages the federal Pell Grant program and ensures that academically qualified, lower-income Oregonians will have their University of Oregon tuition and fees paid. Berdahl and Espy also profiled University of Oregon research activities that are funded by key federal research agencies like the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. Lawmakers and staff members received a copy of the university’s federal legislative priorities document, which offers key facts about the university and outlines its budget and policy requests.
Berdahl and Espy participated in a reception held in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the UO Alumni Association. More than 150 D.C.-area graduates attended including UO alumni DeFazio, Walden, and Bonamici.