DC Digest – September 26, 2013

In Today’s Issue:

  • Duke Watching Potential Federal Government Shutdown
  • Higher Ed Braces for Government Shutdown and More Fiscal Fights
  • Making Federal Officials’ Visits Work for the Classroom
  • Associations Hold Hill Briefing on U.S. Global Competence
  • Higher Ed Leaders Urge House to Maintain Funding for NEH
  • AAAS Seeks Candidates for Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science
  • Immigration Reform is on Life Support But Not Dead Yet
  • Department of Ed Launches College Affordability and Value Outreach


DUKE WATCHING POTENTIAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

The Office of Federal Relations (OFR) is closely monitoring the budget negotiations in Washington to determine the implications of a possible federal government shutdown on Duke and its activities.  If such a shutdown takes place, it will begin next Tuesday, October 1.

The Office of Management and Budget has instructed all federal agencies and congressional offices to prepare contingency plans for internal use. At this time, OMB has not provided guidance on communicating these plans to non-governmental employees, so it is unclear what the potential impact of a lapse in government activities will be on the Duke community.

Read More:
Duke OFR Monitoring Potential Federal Government Shutdown (Duke Federal Relations Blog)

 

HIGHER ED BRACES FOR GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND MORE FISCAL FIGHTS
The impending shutdown of the federal government is expected to affect higher education only modestly, at least in the short term, but the debate has already kicked off several months of unpredictable fiscal fights that threaten to further cut funding for some financial aid programs and scientific research.

The federal government will shut down on October 1 unless Congress agrees in the next five days to a stopgap spending measure to keep it open. A lapse in funding would mean that most normal day-to-day operations of the federal government would come to a halt, though it’s not clear exactly which programs relating to higher education might continue.

Read More:
Shutdown Looms (Inside Higher Ed)

 

MAKING FEDERAL OFFICIALS’ VISITS WORK FOR THE CLASSROOM
With upheaval in Egypt and Syria, cable newsrooms and kitchen tables across America are engaged in debate over the nation’s role in the global community. With the help from visits from current and former federal officials in the last month, similar conversations have taken hold in the classrooms and auditoriums of Duke University.

Read More:
Making Federal Officials’ Visits Work for the Classroom (Today.duke.edu)

 

ASSOCIATIONS HOLD HILL BRIEFING ON U.S. GLOBAL COMPETENCE
At a Capitol Hill briefing on September 17, more than 60 people, including at least 20 congressional staff members, heard about the importance of international and foreign language education to sustaining the nation’s economic competitiveness and meeting such challenges as global health, environmental protection, law enforcement, and food production.“U.S. Global Competence:  The Role of International and Foreign Language Education” was organized by the Coalition for International Education and the National Council for Languages and International Studies.  The session was cosponsored by AAU, APLU, and the American Council on Education.
Read More:
The program and bullet points, a briefing paper, and the speaker presentations and biographies are available here.

 

HIGHER ED LEADERS URGE HOUSE TO MAINTAIN FUNDING FOR NEH
Leaders of 23 higher education groups sent a letter September 20 to the House to express concern over the drastic funding cuts proposed for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).“Despite a relatively small funding level, the NEH is a key component in enhancing our economic competitiveness and in advancing our national security interests,” the higher education leaders wrote in their letter. “The thousands of grants and other programs supported by the NEH are critical to these endeavors. We strongly urge you to support the level of funding for the NEH proposed in the President’s budget request, and reject efforts to slash funding and damage our economy, security and cultural standing.”
As co-chair of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, President Brodhead has been an active voice in advocating for the humanities.
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AAAS SEEKS CANDIDATES FOR EARLY CAREER AWARD FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT WITH SCIENCE
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is seeking candidates for this year’s AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science.The award recognizes university researchers with less than seven years in the field who have worked to engage with the public on science and technology issues.  Types of public engagement include informal science education, public policy, and communication activities through radio, TV, film, and social and online media.  Nominations are due before midnight on October 15.
IMMIGRATION REFORM IS ON LIFE SUPPORT BUT NOT DEAD YET
[P]roponents and opponents [of immigration reform] are now focused on the fact that GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte — a key player as chair of the Judiciary Committee — has now said he intends to move proposals forward this fall, while John Boehner has reportedly said the issue remains on the GOP agenda. Goodlatte has long said he could support legalization for the 11 million with no “special pathway to citizenship,” plus citizenship for the DREAMers. But can Dems and immigration reform advocates accept such an outcome?
Read More:

Immigration reform is on life support, but it isn’t dead yet (Washington Post)

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LAUNCHES COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AND VALUE OUTREACH
Following up on the college affordability and value initiative that President Obama announced in August, the Department of Education last week released additional information about the series of public discussions it will hold to inform development of the plan’s college ratings proposal. The discussions, to be held at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., will include student advocates and leaders.
Members of the public are invited to send their ideas about the President’s plan and suggestions for the ratings system to collegefeedback@ed.gov.  More information about the college value and affordability outreach initiative will be available on the Department’s College Affordability and Completion website in the coming days.