Federal Relations

Federal Agency Developments


June 21, 2012

Commerce Secretary to Resign

Commerce Secretary John Bryson informed the department’s employees Thursday that he has given the president a letter of resignation. “I have come to the conclusion that I need to step down to prevent distractions from this critical mission,” Bryson said. Bryson had been on a medical leave of absence since June 11, following a seizure…


June 15, 2012

“DREAM Act” Closer to Reality

President Obama took executive action today to end the deportation of people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act if it were enacted. The new policy, effective immediately, will grant the people eligible for the program renewable, deferred action on their immigration status and the ability to apply for work authorization. The DREAM Act…


June 14, 2012

NRC Report on Research Universities

This morning the National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on Research Universities released the long anticipated 220-page report:  Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security. In the report, the committee states: “America’s public research universities are at great risk” and makes 10 major recommendations, including calling for…


June 11, 2012

Reports and Papers

On Thursday, the National Academies of Science will officially release a report entitled “Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security.” This report is being billed as a follow-up report to the National Academies report Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which in 2007 issued a clarion…


May 9, 2012

ARPA-E Director Majumdar Resigns

Today, Acting Undersecretary and ARPA-E Director Arun Majumdar announced that he will be resigning his role as Acting Undersecretary effective immediately, and Assistant Secretary David Sandalow has been chosen as his replacement.  Furthermore, Dr. Majumdar also announced that he will be resigning his role as Director of ARPA-E effective June 8, 2012, and ARPA-E Deputy…


February 27, 2012

Circular A-21

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced its intent to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Guidance (ANPG) on Circular A-21, the government publication which governs cost recovery associated with grant-making. This is a follow-on effort to the White House’s interagency Circular A-21 Task Force.  The ANPG will seek comments on initial reform proposals OMB…


February 3, 2012

White House Unveils Draft ‘College Scorecard’

The White House is seeking input from colleges and consumers about a draft “College Scorecard” that would provide prospective students with information about a college’s cost, graduation rate, average debt burden, loan-repayment rate, and job-placement rate. The scorecard, which President Obama announced in a speech at the University of Michigan last week, is designed to…


January 27, 2012

Obama proposes Race to the Top for College Affordability

Details are beginning to emerge on Obama’s proposal to make college affordable.  He spoke to this during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, and again today at an event at the University of Michigan.  US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has also been talking about this issue since late last year, and…


NIH Issues Guidance on Salary Cap

On January 20th, NIH issued a guidance notice related to the salary cap enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-74).  Division F, Section 203, of the appropriations law reduced the salary cap on NIH, AHRQ, and SAMHSA extramural awards from Executive Level I ($199,700) to Executive Level II ($179,700). Read more…


January 18, 2012

DOE Reports on Tidal & Wave Energy

The Department of Energy today released two reports assessing US ocean wave and tidal energy resources along the US Coasts. DOE reports that the two assessments, combined with ongoing analyses of technologies and other resource assessments, show that water power, including conventional hydropower, and wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can potentially provide 15…



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