DC Digest – September 10, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Updated Memos Guiding Campus Political Activity
  • OFR/DIW to Host Hill Presentation on NC in the Global Economy
  • DIW to Host Election Discussion Series Starting Sept 18
  • Duke Researchers to Receive Golden Goose Award
  • Congress Expected to Approve a Short-Term FY15 CR
  • Higher Ed Associations Respond to Sexual Assault Legislation
  • COFAR Releases Latest Guidance on New Circular on Federal Grant Awards


UPDATED MEMOS GUIDING CAMPUS POLITICAL ACTIVITY
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, sent a memo to campus leadership on Wednesday, updating university guidelines for campus political activity and engagement with government officials.

The guidelines summarize university policies as well as Federal and state law regarding permissable political activity on campus, visits to campus by Congressional and Federal Executive Branch officials and state officials, earmarks, and lobbying.

Read More:
Memo Regarding Campus Political Activity (governmentrelations.duke.edu)


OFR/DIW TO HOST HILL PRESENTATION ON NC IN GLOBAL ECONOMY

OFR and DIW will host a presentation and discussion on Friday on “North Carolina in the Global Economy,” a project led by Gary Gereffi, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Globalization, Governance, & Competitiveness.  Dr. Gereffi will provide an overview of the project, describe its key findings and policy implications, and preview the next phase of the study.

The presentation will take place on September 12 at 9:30am in room 1300 of the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Read More:
North Carolina in the Global Economy (webform)


DIW TO HOST ELECTION DISCUSSION SERIES STARTING SEPT. 18

Duke in Washington, along with Duke University’s Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations and the Forum for Scholars and Publics, will host a seven-part weekly discussion series that will take an in-depth look at issues central to the midterm elections.

Each week will address a new topic, from health care to foreign relations, and the discussions will be led concurrently by faculty and experts from campus and from the nation’s capital.  The series begins Thursday, September 18, at 4:00pm at the Duke in Washington conference room, 1201 New York Ave, NW, Suite 1110. The first session is “Setting the Stage: Midterm Overview.”

Read More:
For more information, a full calendar and to register click here.


DUKE RESEARCHERS TO RECEIVE GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD

The Golden Goose Award honors scientists whose federally funded research may have seemed odd or to have no significant practical applications at the time it was conducted but has resulted in major economic or other benefits to society.

In 1979 Saul Schanberg, a former Duke University neuroscientist, Cynthia Kuhn, a graduate student, and Gary Evoniuk, a lab technician, found that massaging rat pups allowed those that had been separated from their mothers to thrive.  This research led directly to a key discovery: touch, in the form of infant massage, can vastly improve the outcome for human babies born prematurely. This discovery has affected millions of lives around the world and saved billions of dollars in healthcare costs in the United States alone.

The awardees will be honored in a ceremony on September 18 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Read More:
Massaging Rat Pups Leads to Thriving Premature Infants (pdf)
Golden Goose Awards (goldengooseaward.org)


SHORT-TERM FY15 CONTINUING RESOLUTION DELAYED
Congress returned to session on Monday, following a five-week recess. The most important order of business will be approval of a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government when Fiscal Year 2015 begins on October 1. A CR is needed because Congress has not enacted any of the 12 FY 2015 appropriations bills.  Lawmakers are expected to set funding for the short-term CR at 2014 levels.

A vote on a House CR that had been planned for Thursday is now delayed until next week after running into multiple obstacles, particularly a White House request to authorize training of Syrian rebels. House leaders have expressed their desire to keep the CR as free of amendments as possible, but the CR may be used as a vehicle for a short-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, additional funding for wildfire prevention programs, and, now, possibly for military action against the Islamic State terrorist group.

HIGHER ED ASSOCIATIONS RESPOND TO SEXUAL ASSAULT LEGISLATION
The higher education community sent a letter last week to Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) addressing Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) Campus Accountability and Safety Act, a high-profile piece of legislation addressing sexual assault on campuses.

This letter expresses support for many of the concepts in the bill but also speaks to several complicated issues that this measure aims to address. Among the provisions discussed are those dealing with confidential advisors, campus climate surveys, memoranda of understanding with local law enforcement, and the interaction between the Clery Act and Title IX. The letter also recommends greater flexibility in recognition of the diverse missions of U.S. higher education institutions.

Read More:
Higher Ed Letter Commenting on CASA (acenet.edu)

COFAR RELEASES LATEST GUIDANCE ON NEW CIRCULAR ON FEDERAL GRANT AWARDS
The White House Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) on August 29 released its second set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on implementation of the uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards.

The new FAQ document helps to resolve some of the research community’s outstanding concerns about the uniform guidance and its implementation, but some questions and concerns remain. More information about the FAQ explanations will be forthcoming.

Read More:
COFAR FAQ’s (pdf)