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04 NA CRU Study - Research University Study National...

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Research University Study National Academies
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Public Research Universities State after state has experienced tax revenue declines that have triggered deep budget cuts to public colleges and universities in the range of 20% to 30% or higher. These deep cuts of public support fall on top of two decades of eroding tax support of public universities as the states have struggled with the burdens and priorities of aging populations. It is worth noting here that the nation’s leading public university, the University of California has been high particularly hard hit by serious cuts in state appropriations leading to salary decreases, payless furlough days, and ramping up employee contributions to retirement and health care plans. Last month it was announced that the UC pension fund is now underfunded by over $20 B, which will require over $700 M/y of annual investments for years to come–roughly what the UC campuses spend on instruction! (And another 17% cut has been proposed for 2011 )
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A Congressional Request “America’s research universities are admired throughout the world, and they have contributed immeasurably to our social and economic well-being. Our universities, to an extent unparalleled in other countries, are our nation’s primary source of long-term scientific, engineering, and medical research. We are concerned that they are at risk. We ask the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine to assembly a distinguished group of individuals to assess the competitive position of American research universities, both public and private, and to respond to the following question: What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, research universities, and others can take to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st Century.”
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Major Issues Unsustainable financial models Global competition Human capital Capacity for change Institutional competition University governance, management, and leadership Public understanding
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Unsustainable Financial Models Graduate education and research require subsidies from increasingly vulnerable revenue sources: Federal support (threatened by growing federal debt), State support (collapsing with state budgets and shifting priorities), Corporate support (declining for both research and employee education), Tuition (approaching a market ceiling), Gifts and endowments (sufficient for only a small number of institutions), Clinical income (threatened by new health legislation).
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Global Competition Currently the United States has no comprehensive policy for enhancing and sustaining its research universities in the face of growing international competition from nations making major commitments to build world-class universities in Europe and Asia.
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