Under the Dome

University leaders to Super Committee: Don't slash higher ed

A half dozen university leaders from North Carolina have joined dozens of others in a plea to members of the Congressional super committee crafting a plan for deficit reduction.

In a letter dated Sept. 21, more than 130 university leaders urge a balanced approach, including economic growth, tax reform and cuts to entitlement programs. It's no surprise that the presidents and chancellors warn about cuts to higher education.

"Imprudent additional reductions in domestic discretionary expenditures and other federal programs that train the next generation risk undermining our nation's human capital, infrastructure, and technological and scientific needs," the letter said.

North Carolina signers were: Linda Brady, chancellor of UNC Greensboro; Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University; Philip Dubois, chancellor of UNC Charlotte; Gary Miller, chancellor of UNC Wilmington; Tom Ross, president of the UNC system; and Holden Thorp, chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.

The leaders point out that the country's past focus on education and research has paid big dividends. That's more important now than ever, they write. "Education, scientific research, and innovation underpin our nation's economic growth in this era of enhanced global competitiveness," the letter said.

Two higher education groups joined in the plea -- the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.


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