DC Digest – March 22, 2019


The DC Digest
Duke Government Relations
In Today’s Issue: 
  • Trump Executive Order on Colleges
  • NEH Chair on Campus
  • Chief Technology Office of the U.S.
  • Higher Education Associations Letters
    • Dream and Promise Act
    • Student Aid Alliance on Budget Caps
    • Energy Sciences Coalition
    • Supporters of Agricultural Research on AFRI
Despite the anticipation of what the White House might include in its executive order on campus free speech this Thursday, March 21, there was hardly any substance of note. As the POLITICO headline stated, “Trump’s hyped free speech order will ask colleges to do what they already have to.”

There is also little Congressional appetite to address free speech issues in this manner as evidenced by the reaction from Sen. Lamar Alexander(R-TN), the chairman of the Senate HELP Committee who responded, “I don’t want to see Congress or the president or the department of anything creating speech codes to define what you can say on campus. The U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech. Federal courts define and enforce it. The Department of Justice can weigh in.”

Beyond the speech issues, the executive order also discussed expanding program-level data from schools. Again, not much detail was included, but this issue has been highlighted previously in the White House proposal to reform HEA and has garnered some interest on Capitol Hill. It will certainly be an issue of discussion in the upcoming HEA reauthorization discussions this year.
National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jon Parrish Peede visited the Duke campus this Wednesday, March 22, to meet with faculty and tour the Nasher Museum of Art, the Rubenstein Arts Center and the Center for Documentary Studies.
Thank You, NEH
Thursday, March 21, the White House nominated current deputy Chief Technology Officer Michael J. K. Kratsios to be the United States Chief Technology Officer.
Master Chief
Higher Education Associations Urge Support for Dream and Promise Act
38 higher education associations, including AAU, wrote a letter to House leadership urging them to support the Dream and Promise Act of 2019. According to the AAU, the act would allow “a ten-year conditional permanent residency status for DACA-eligible individuals, restore states’ ability to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students on the basis of residency, and extend previously terminated protections to immigrants with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure.”
Dream and Promise
Student Aid Alliance Urges Budget Caps Increase
March 20, the Student Aid Alliance wrote a letter to House and Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services Committee leadership thanking them for supporting student aid programs in FY19 and requesting they continue this commitment into FY20. The Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of 85 higher education organizations, of which Duke is a member.
Student Aid
Energy Sciences Coalition Urges Increased Funds for DOE
The Energy Sciences Coalition sent a letter to Congress March 20 asking for their continued, bipartisan support of energy science research at the Department of Energy in FY20. The letter requests $7 billion for the DOE Office of Science, a four percent increase over FY19 levels. Duke is a member of the ESC.
Energy Sciences
Supporters of Agricultural Research Urge Support for AFRI
The Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation wrote to House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership to request $445 million for the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research (AFRI) in FY20. AAU is a member of SOAR.
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