The members of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) have appealed to President Obama and congressional leaders to avert sequestration, the across-the-board federal spending cuts set to take effect March 1.
In a letter signed by members of BHEF’s Executive Committee—including ACE President Molly Corbett Broad—the association calls for a reasoned approach to balanced, long-term deficit reduction that preserves investments in research and education, particularly student aid, and spurs long-term innovation and economic growth.
Across-the-board cuts would significantly reduce federal research budgets, hindering the innovation that is so critical to American economic development, according to the letter. The U.S. share of global research funding has declined 18 percent over the past decade and sequestration would reduce federal research finding by another 5.1 percent. To maintain competitiveness in technology and innovation, the government must make more selective cuts and protect research funding, the letter says.
The letter also discusses how sequestration would inhibit growth in STEM education and workforce outcomes, which rely on federal research funding and student aid, and would lead to a reduction in federal Title VI student aid programs.