UC President Napolitano Outlines Federal Funding Priorities

Late last week, UC Federal Governmental Relations shared with the California congressional delegation a letter from President Napolitano that outlines the University’s FY 2018 federal funding priorities:

As Congress begins work on appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the University of California (UC) urges your full support for federal programs that are critical to the University’s ability to successfully carry out its education, research, health care, and public service missions.

UC is the largest public research university system in the world and, in partnership with the federal government, is an engine for economic growth and innovation for California and the nation. The University is very concerned that President Trump’s recently released FY 2018 Budget Blueprint proposes significant disinvestments in education and scientific, technological, and medical research that will stifle crucial advancements toward solving our nation’s most pressing needs and challenges. The University strongly urges Congress to make the critical investments in federal programs that will help us ensure that UC continues to provide a world-class education to the next-generation workforce, pursues groundbreaking research to address some of the biggest scientific and technological challenges of our time and delivers cutting-edge medical education and health care services.

The attached document outlines the University’s FY 2018 federal appropriations priorities.

After two years of partial relief enacted under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the full impact of the lower Budget Control Act sequestration caps returns for FY 2018. The University is concerned that if the caps are not raised, non-defense discretionary programs – where most federal research and higher education is funded – could decline to the lowest percent of the Gross Domestic Product in more than 50 years.

While the attached document includes the full range of UC’s FY 2018 appropriations priorities, I would like to call your attention to the following areas that are of specific importance to the University of California:

Pell Grant Program: UC supports strong and sustained funding – with the current combination of discretionary and mandatory funds – to maintain the scheduled FY 2018 maximum Pell Grant award, restore year-round Pell and keep the program on solid footing in future years. UC enrolls a higher percentage of Pell Grant recipients than any other top research university in the country and four UC campuses each enroll more low-income students than the Ivy League institutions combined. Pell Grants are an integral part of the financial aid packages UC offers to its students and, importantly, Pell Grant recipients graduate at comparable rates to non‐Pell recipients.

Basic and Applied Research: The University supports robust and sustained funding for research, especially at the National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation; the Departments of Defense, Energy and Agriculture; NASA; and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. UC researchers are well positioned to compete for competitive grants across the full spectrum of research programs – from cancer, precision medicine, and the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative to agriculture, energy, the environment, national security, and advanced manufacturing.

Public Health Services: With five nationally acclaimed UC medical centers – and serving as the fourth-largest health care delivery system in California – the University depends on robust federal investment in public health and prevention. Continued funding for these programs through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration, among others, allows UC to continue to treat the sickest patients and to serve as a vital safety net for all Californians, especially for vulnerable populations.

Thank you for your continued support of the University of California. The priorities outlined in the attached document are listed by appropriations subcommittee for your consideration. In addition, the document is available online at www.ucop.edu/federal-governmentalrelations/federal-budget.

Yours very truly,

Janet Napolitano



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