DC Digest – November 24, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Obama’s Immigration Executive Action – Impact on Higher Ed
  • Duke Signs Letter Urging FY15 Omnibus to Support DOD Science, Technology
  • Student Aid Alliance Urges Appropriators to Strongly Support Student Aid in FY15 Measure
  • Dukies on the Move
  • Rep. Rush Holt to Become Next Leader of AAAS
  • International Students in U.S. at All-Time High

 

OBAMA’S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ACTION – IMPACT ON HIGHER ED
President Obama on November 20 announced that his Administration would make millions of illegal immigrants eligible for temporary protection from deportation, and enable more international students earning degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at U.S. universities to remain and work in this country after graduation. Some details affecting higher education remain to be clarified.

The executive order changes immigration enforcement rules to lift the age limitation on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has allowed individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as young children-the so-called DREAMers-to avoid deportation if they are under 30 and have enrolled in college or served in the military. And while undocumented students will now be able to apply for lower in-state tuition and scholarships in every state, some states may choose not to offer those benefits and undocumented students will still not be eligible for federal student aid.

For international students, the President’s executive order expands the Optional Practical Training program, which offers temporary work authorization for such students for 12 to 29 months after graduation, says Inside Higher Ed. The publication notes that the White House has said it would “require stronger ties” between students participants and the institutions from which they graduated, but has not provided details.

The Department of Homeland Security also is finalizing rules to authorize employment for spouses of certain H-1B visa holders if the visa-holding spouse has applied for lawful permanent resident status.

Read More:
What Immigration Executive Actions Mean for Higher Education (InsideHigherEd)
How Obama’s Action on Immigration will Affect Higher Education (Chronicle of Higher Ed)


DUKE SIGNS LETTER URGING FY15 OMNIBUS TO SUPPORT DOD SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY

Duke joined the Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR) in a November 20 letter to House and Senate appropriators asking them to pass an FY15 omnibus appropriations bill that includes “strong investments in the U.S. Department of Defense Science and Technology (S&T) accounts.”

The letter requests at least $2.27 billion for defense basic research accounts and at least $12.04 billion for defense S&T accounts overall, the same as provided in the FY15 Defense appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. It adds:

“The passage of an FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill will provide the long term security needed to fund Defense S&T accounts that simply would not be possible through a continuing resolution. An omnibus appropriations bill would better support the goal of these accounts, which is to keep the defense research pipeline filled with innovative, cutting edge research to benefit our warfighters.”

Read More:
CNSR Letter (pdf)

STUDENT AID ALLIANCE URGES APPROPRIATORS TO STRONGLY SUPPORT STUDENT AID IN FY15 MEASURE
The Student Aid Alliance, a coalition of 77 higher education organizations, including organizations of which Duke is a member, sent a letter to House and Senate appropriators on November 17 urging them to enact an FY15 omnibus appropriations bill that protects the student aid programs funded through the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. The letter said:

“Our economy depends on developing skilled workers who can effectively compete in a challenging global marketplace. Postsecondary education is the means to achieving this, and student aid is what opens the door to college for low- and middle-income students. The FY15 appropriations bills offer Congress the opportunity to begin addressing these challenges, and to move toward greater competitiveness, productivity and economic growth through a better educated workforce.”

Read More:
Student Aid Alliance Letter for FY15 Omnibus (pdf)

DUKIES ON THE MOVE
Kyle Nevins (T ’02) will be departing Capitol Counsel, LLC, effective January 1, 2015, to launch Harbinger Strategies, a full service government affairs and consulting firm located in Washington, D.C. Prior to his time at Capitol Counsel, Nevins spent over a decade on Capitol Hill working with the House Republican Leadership. Most recently, he served as then Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, overseeing the legislative agenda and floor schedule for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Read More:
Stombres, Nevins, and O’Neill Announce Formation of Harbinger Strategies (Politico)

REP. RUSH HOLT TO BECOME NEXT LEADER OF AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced on November 18 that retiring Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) will become the association’s next chief executive officer, effective in February, 2015. He replaces Alan Leshner, who announced last April that he would retire after serving as the association’s CEO for the past 13 years.

As a research physicist and educator, Rep. Holt has been a strong, knowledgeable advocate for scientific research and education on Capitol Hill. He announced in February that he would retire from Congress at the end of his eighth term representing the 12th congressional district in central New Jersey. The district includes Princeton University, among other colleges and universities.

Read More:
Retiring U.S. Congressman Rush Holt to Lead AAAS (AAAS.org)

REPORT: INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN U.S. AT ALL-TIME HIGH
The 2014 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released last week found the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by eight percent to a record high of 886,052 students in the 2013-14 academic year. The report, published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is based on a survey that is administered with the support of seven higher education associations.

Read More:
ACE Summary of Findings (ACEnet.edu)
Full 2014 Open Doors Report (iie.org)