Policy Update: January 26, 2012

Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (DHS S&T) Advocacy

I wanted to let you know that today, President Aoun led an initiative with eleven other university leaders from across the nation to advocate for funding for science and technology research at the Department of Homeland Security. The presidents and chancellors sent a letter to Secretary Janet Napolitano, whom President Aoun met with this past fall, expressing their support for federal funding for the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate. The S&T Research, Development and Innovation budget saw a large cut in FY'12, and we hope to avoid severe cuts in the FY'13 budget. This effort is part of what will be a year-long effort to advocate for federal funding for security research, among other topics, which Northeastern benefits from.

State of the Union

Also, as you know, President Obama gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Of particular interest, the President discussed a few issues relevant to Northeastern, including research & innovation and college costs. Throughout his address, the President emphasized the necessity to invest in innovation, which will inspire growth by leading to "new American jobs and new American industries." Part of this investment includes support for basic research that will lead to new technologies, companies and advances to keep us globally competitive. The President addressed the issue of rising college costs – and he highlighted the importance of increasing financial aid for students but also charged colleges and universities to make sure tuition costs stop increasing. Other specific proposals he noted included preserving the tuition tax credit and doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years, while also urging Congress to make sure interest rates on student loans do not double in July.

The President Obama's FY'13 budget proposal is due out on February 13th. Following it's release, check back for an update.