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ACE, Higher Education Groups Express Concerns Over Elimination of FBI Higher Education Board

April 30, 2018

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​ACE and 14 other higher education associations sent a letter April 24 to the FBI asking the agency to convene a group of higher education representatives and key national security agencies to discuss security concerns, including recent questions raised about international students on U.S. campuses. 

The request comes on the heels of the FBI disbanding the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (NSHEAB), which had provided a forum for discussion between higher education and the federal government on important national security matters. The NSHEAB also gave the higher education community the opportunity to share issues of importance to colleges and universities, such as academic freedom, scholarly exchanges, and global partnerships.

The associations’ letter was submitted a day before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a similar letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray questioning the FBI's dissolution of the NSHEAB. The House committee earlier this month held a hearing focused on foreign nations' exploitation of U.S. universities to exfiltrate science and technology research and development.

Before the hearing, ACE joined the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Council on Government Relations in submitting a joint statement​ to the committee. Along with concerns about the NSHEAB, the associations also highlighted the importance research universities place on security and the working relationship between universities and federal agencies such as the departments of Homeland Security and Commerce in addressing these issues. 

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