Congress passed sweeping tax reform legislation this week and several key issues of concern to UC were successfully addressed in the final bill. The legislation preserves higher education tax benefits, including Qualified Tuition Reductions (Section 117(d)) and the student loan interest deduction – which would have been eliminated otherwise. Your advocacy was critical in protecting these benefits that are so important to our students and their families.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is considered the nation’s medical research agency — making important discoveries that improve health and save lives.
That mission overlaps with UCLA’s research and discovery goals frequently. NIH invests tens of billions of dollars into health research every year, and UCLA is a consistent recipient of grants that total in the hundreds of millions of dollars — $387.4 million in 2016, to be exact, which is about 64 percent of all federal money coming into the university.
This year NIH again came under the microscope, originally facing a suggestion from President Donald Trump’s administration for Congress to cut its funding by about 20 percent. Instead it saw a $1.1 billion increase for Fiscal Year 2018. The good news is that NIH has increased by almost $50 million versus Fiscal Year 2013 — an indication of bipartisan support.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been an important partner for UCLA research over the years. The independent federal agency was created to promote the progress of science; advance national health, prosperity, and welfare; and secure the national defense.
It is the second largest federal funder of UCLA research (13 percent), with almost $80 million given in grant money during Fiscal Year 2016. As a celebration of our federal partnerships, we have compiled a brief list of research breakthroughs that were helped along by the funding of NSF during the calendar year.
The University of California (UC) is the largest public research university system in the world, with more than 264,000 students, 165,000 faculty and staff and 1.8 million living alumni. It includes 10 campuses, five medical centers and three affiliated national laboratories. UC remains committed to carrying out its research, education, health care and public service missions, and strengthening programs established in the Higher Education Act (HEA) will allow the university to continue to thrive and serve as an economic engine for California and the nation.
You don’t have to convince U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez about the power of higher education, not even a little bit.
“When I graduated from high school, I didn’t have any plans to go to college,” he said. “I worked at Subway and Target right after graduation. Working those two jobs back to back just to make ends meet was a grueling experience.”
Each day, Gomez transformed from “sandwich artist” between 5 and 10:30 p.m. to stocker overnight and into the morning. The routine was tough on him.
This is my final AVC message. After 36 years at UCLA, I will be retiring at the end of this year. I have had the joy and the privilege of serving as AVC for the past 19 years, and my love and passion for UCLA runs deep. I know that public higher education is one of the most important assets in our society. It is the “game changer” that advances our nation, and among the higher education community, UCLA is a leader.
As advocates, you have taken the UCLA message to our elected officials at all levels of government and you have taken our message to your family, friends and your community. I am so proud of what we have accomplished in developing and sustaining our Advocacy Days in Downtown, Sacramento and in Washington, while also being able to integrate the work of the UCLA Volunteer Center into our efforts. None of this would have been possible without the support and commitment of you, our Bruin advocates.