Informed choice home

Good news from the other Washington – Letter from President Ana Mari Cauce, Dec. 18, 2015.

Dear Colleagues,

We hear all too often about the dysfunction in Washington, DC, where political gamesmanship seems to rule how our nation’s policymakers deal with the big issues facing our country.

In spite of that, I am pleased to report some good news stemming from all of our federal advocacy efforts this year. Congress has provided the higher education community with a year-end gift in the form of a mostly positive omnibus spending bill for the current fiscal year.

Some of the most important highlights for the UW include:

  • $2 billion increase for NIH over FY 2015 levels
  • Faculty Salary Cap remains at Executive Level II for HHS grants, rather than the lower Executive Level III proposed by the House
  • $334 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which was zeroed out in the House proposal
  • $119.3 million increase for NSF, and no cuts to Geosciences and Social, Behavioral and Economic (SBE) Sciences as proposed in the House
  • $324.6 million increase for NOAA, with a $29 million increase for Ocean and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
  • $136 million increase for Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program
  • $291 million increase for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program
  • $147.9 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is $1.9 million more than the FY 2015 levels
  • Pell Grant maximum award for 2016-17 will be $5,915, up $140 per award
  • $410 million for Peace Corps, which is $30.5 million more than the FY 2015 level

The House and Senate passed the omnibus bill today, sending it to President Obama. Please visit the Office of Federal Relations website for more detailed information about the bill.

These increases in funding, along with the exclusion of provisions that were of concern to the UW and broader higher education community, are a result of a true team effort. And in the coming year I will continue to work with you and our Federal Relations Team to advocate for investments in students, research and innovation.

Thank you helping develop and advance our federal agenda, and for the excellence of your work, which on a daily basis demonstrates the value of university teaching and research to our nation.


Ana Mari Cauce




Ana Mari Cauce
Professor of Psychology