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Research Universities Looking to Feds to Keep Taxpayer Money Rolling In

July 7, 2010

Cornell faculty members Hunter Rawlings and Ronald Ehrenberg  will examine the state of U.S. research universities.

Rawlings, Cornell president emeritus and professor of classics – a classics professor is perfect.  Who can be more qualified in knowing what is best for research universities than a classics professor.

oh, and not to forget the other perfect appointee:

Ehrenberg of Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics.  Another perfectly totally ridiculous choice.

What about someone with a science or medical degree — where the research may actually be helpful.

The National Research Council’s new Committee on Research Universities and participate in a yearlong review of how the federal government can ensure the long-term health of U.S. research universities.

Translation: How taxpayers are now funding a study to justify more federal spending on ridiculous university research projects.  As state and corporate funding is getting more scarce, universities are forming government-university partnerships where they will take taxpayer money by force because they now have a committee that says it would be in your interest for you to fund University research.  As if the $40,000 annual tuition at these colleges isn’t enough, they need to tap your taxes too by getting taxpayer money through government “research” allocations that a classics professor says is needed.

The 21-member committee of corporate and academic leaders will tackle the question: What are the top 10 actions that Congress, the federal government, state governments, research universities and others could take to assure the ability of the American research university 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?

Bipartisan members of Congress requested that the study be undertaken. Universities have argued that due to cuts in state support, the federal government needs to play a greater role in financing science and research or risk endangering the status of American research universities. The committee’s mandate may extend to immigration policies that affect international students’ study at U.S. universities.

It is hoped that work by the committee will have an impact on Congressional (aka taxpayer) spending – this is your money they are apportioning through a BS research commission. In 2007 the National Academies, of which the National Research Council is a part, issued a report that led Congress to push for doubling the spending on scientific research. Specifically, the committee will examine:

  • Research and doctoral programs carried out by research universities and associated medical centers;
  • Basic and applied research at research universities, along with collaborative research programs with other components of the research enterprise (e.g., national and federal laboratories, federally funded research and development centers, and corporate research laboratories);
  • Doctoral education and, to the extent necessary, the pathways to graduate education and research careers; and
  • Fields of study and research that are critical to helping the United States compete, prosper and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment and security, with a focus on science, engineering and medicine.


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