The Senate was in session this week, and the House was in recess. But substantial groundwork continues to be laid for the reauthorization of bills important to UI.
On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a full committee hearing on the America COMPETES Act. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was the sole witness. The Senate has yet to release its legislation that will reauthorize America COMPETES.
The House Science Committee will hold a hearing next week on related legislation, known as the FIRST Act. In the House, both the majority and minority members of the Science Committee released discussion drafts of their legislation this week. The minority’s bill makes steady year-over-year increases for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and DOE-Science, while the majority’s bill does not authorize appropriations but imposes new “accountability measures” on NSF.
Next week, both the House and Senate education committees will hold hearings geared toward simplifying the student financial aid process. UI VPAA Christophe Pierre has flagged this as a priority for UI in the Higher Education Act reauthorization.
The Department of Education will hold its second open forum on its college affordability initiative at George Mason University in Arlington, VA. The forum will be facilitated by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other U.S. Department of Education officials.
The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) announced this week that Rep. Cheri Bustos is being inducted into the Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame. Rep. Bustos was part of the Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program (ILSIP) Class of 1983-84. Along with other inductees, she will be honored on Thursday, November 21 at the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield. Rep. Bustos is the first graduate of ILSIP and UIS to have been elected to the United States Congress. For more information, click here.
RECENT UI EVENTS
IUPLR Brings Together Researchers & Government Relations Representatives
November 8 (DC): The Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), a national consortium which consists of twenty-five university-based research centers committed to enhancing the intellectual presence of Latinos in the United States, is currently headquartered at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Today, IUPLR hosted a panel discussion in D.C. on federal policy issues affecting Latino Students and research efforts, including Title V programs and the DREAM Act. Speakers included Laura Maristany from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Marco Davis from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and Vaishalee Yeldandi from the Office of Senator Dick Durbin. Dr. Maria de los Angeles ("Nena") Torres welcomed the group to Washington, and UI’s Director of Federal Relations, Jon Pyatt, moderated the panel.
Rep. Rodney Davis Speaks at Groundbreaking
November 8 (IL): At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education had its groundbreaking ceremony today. This new facility will be a national resource, ensuring that veterans with severe and multiple disabilities have the resources and support they need to obtain a postsecondary education. Trustee Timothy Koritz, Chancellor Phyllis Wise, Rep. Rodney Davis, the Director of the VA's Regional Office in Chicago Duane Honeycutt, Ronald Chez from the Ronald Chez Family Foundation, and Dr. Tanya Gallagher, Dean of Urbana's College of Applied Health Sciences delivered remarks at the event.
URBANA'S PATENT CLINIC RECOGNIZED IN REPORT
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a new report called "The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University." Within the report, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Patent Clinic was highlighted as an example of promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship. The Patent Clinic is a collaboration between the Technology Entrepreneur Center and the College of Law, which drafts free patent applications for eligible student inventors.
Jon Pyatt and Melissa Haas
OGR Federal Relations