A new report by the National Academies of Science offers key principles and recommendations aimed at strengthening and preserving one of America’s most important assets, its research universities. American research universities are faced with new challenges as federal and state funding decline, and industry support weakens. The research and graduate programs of America’s research universities and their sustained contributions to the nation’s health, prosperity, and security make them extremely crucial to U.S. advancement and success.

“The talent, innovative ideas, and new technologies produced by U.S. research universities have led to some of our finest national achievements, from the modern agricultural revolution to the accessibility of the World Wide Web,” said Charles O. Holliday Jr., chair of the committee that wrote the report, chairman of the board of Bank of America, and former chair and CEO of DuPont. “Especially in these tough economic times, the nation cannot afford to defer investment in our best asset for building prosperity and success in the future.”

The report recommends ten critical steps that the United States should take in the coming years to ensure that the nation’s research universities continue to thrive. These steps include the federal government’s adoption of stable and effective policies, practices, and funding for university research and graduate education; strengthening the business role in research partnership; increasing university cost-effectiveness and productivity; improving the capacity of graduate programs; and ensuring that the U.S. continues to benefit strongly from the participation of international students and scholars in research enterprise.

The report stresses the essential role of partnerships among research universities, the federal government, states, and industry. The recommendations in the report will require each of these parties to participate in assuring the future of top-quality research and development in the United States.

Read the report, “Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security,” at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13396.

 


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