|February 10, 2000
Volume 30 Number 12
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
Mr. Bakke Goes To Washington
Recently, I had the opportunity to be in Washington, D.C., as a participant in the Annual Meeting of the National Council of University Research Administrators. The general political consensus shared by both political parties coming out of this conference and following meetings with many agency representatives is that support for education, research and development, training, and service at all levels of government was strong. As I left Washington, the budget battle for fiscal year 2000 was just winding down. Within days of returning home, much of what I had heard predicted in Washington was realized in the final budget: higher education was once again a big winner.
Funding for education was increased substantially in the overall federal budget. The U.S. Department of Education, for example, received a 7% increase over FY 1999, to over $38 billion. Some of the big winners are the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, which received a 100% increase; the Fund for Improvement of Educationn which received an 80% increase; the TRIO Programs (Upward Bound, Talent Search) which received a 12.4% increase; and the Gear Up Program which received a 67% increase.
Funds for up to 100,000 new teachers were also included in the final budget, with up to 25% of this $1.4 billion available for teacher training support, including both pre- and in-service training, a strategic focus for the CSU.
Both parties voted for large increases for research: 15% for the National Institutes of Health, to $17.9 billion; 7% for the National Science Foundation, to $3.9 billion; and 4% for the USDA's research programs, to $1.7 billion. Increases for research and education programs were also included for the Departments of Commerce, Interior, Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The political consensus inherent in increased federal support for higher education is premised upon the belief that investment in education, research, and infrastructure pays handsome dividends to society and to the continued economic growth and global success of the United States. Further, a new focus on the capabilities and resources of comprehensive universities inspires optimism about increasing funding for education and research for such campuses.
An example of this new direction was well illustrated in a meeting CSU Sponsored Programs' development directors had with Dr. Joseph Bordonga, chief operating officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF). His positions and opinions reflect an important shift in research and educational support at the federal level for institutions like CSU, Chico. Bordonga and several of his staff spent over an hour explaining how the direction and culture of the NSF is changing to meet the research, educational and infrastructure needs of "emerging comprehensive universities."
Bordonga shared several NSF planning documents with us, and explained that the Foundation "intends to broaden its support for comprehensive universities in order to carry out the NSF national mission." His resounding call to us was to strongly encourage applications to the NSF from our faculty, and for faculty to get involved with NSF as proposal reviewers and as rotators (faculty who spend six months to several years at NSF programs). He stated that many CSU campuses do very well at the NSF, but funding success requires a proactive effort.
The message from Washington, D.C. is clear: "Send us your grant proposals, and do it now."
For more specific information, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at x5700, or visit our Web Page at www.csuchico.edu/gisp/sp/. -- Bob Bakke, Manager for Development, Office of Sponsored Programs
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