Federal Update: Higher ed associations send letter on FY14 budget priorities to administration

Congress adjourned for its August recess on August 6, and the focus at the federal level has been on political campaigns as the major parties hold their nominating conventions. The US House and Senate will both reconvene on September 10. 

During the recess, the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) sent a letter  to Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, urging the agency to address the associations’ key budget priorities in the President’s FY14 budget.

The letter, signed by the associations’ two presidents, calls on the Administration to continue to prioritize key investments for the future, even as it seeks to reduce budget deficits, stating, “[W]e strongly urge you, as you craft the Administration’s FY 2014 budget, to uphold the President’s demonstrated commitment to invest in student financial aid and scientific research programs that will contribute to future economic growth and security.” 

The letter adds, “Given their importance, we ask the Administration to maintain its strong commitment to these programs by recommending funding levels that, at a minimum, keep pace with inflation and create a pathway for sustained growth.”

The letter details a number of priorities, including: student financial aid to ensure access to higher education; support for graduate, international, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education; and support for scientific research and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It also reiterates the associations’ previous calls to work for “a major, balanced long-term deficit reduction agreement that will help provide economic stability and prevent the indiscriminate cuts of sequestration in FY2013 and beyond.”

The University of Oregon is a member of both the AAU and APLU.