Posted by: bluesyemre | October 31, 2012

Diminishing Funding and Rising Expectations: Trends and Challenges for Public Research Universities

  • As part of our mandate from Congress, the National Science Board (Board) supervises the collection of a very broad set of policy-neutral, quantitative information about U.S. science, engineering, and technology, and publishes the data and trends biennially in our Science and Engineering Indicators (Indicators) report. The data in Indicators reveal some trends that raise important policy concerns that the Board then conveys to the President, Congress, and the public in the form of a “companion” policy statement to the Indicators report. In the 2012 edition of Indicators, the Board reported a substantial decline over the last decade in per student state appropriations at the Nation’s major public research universities. This companion report to Indicators, Diminishing Funding and Rising Expectations: Trends and Challenges for Public Research Universities, highlights the importance of these universities to state and national economies, rising public expectations for university education and research, and the challenges posed by recent trends in enrollment, revenue, and expenditures. The Nation’s public research universities play a vital role in preparing the next generation of innovators—educating and training a large number of science and engineering students at the undergraduate and graduate levels while maintaining relative affordability. They perform over half of all academic research and development, are contributors to state and local economies, and provide numerous public services. In the wake of increasing enrollment and costs and declining per student state appropriations, the Board is concerned with the continued ability of these institutions to provide affordable, quality education and training to a broad range of students, conduct the basic science and engineering research that leads to innovations, and perform their public service missions.

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