CU President Kennedy Discusses CU Priorities with Colorado Congressional Delegation
This spring, CU President Mark Kennedy met virtually with members of the Colorado congressional delegation to discuss CU’s federal priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The meetings highlighted community project funding requests to support pipeline programming for underserved and first-generation students across CU’s campuses, as well as support for doubling the Pell Grant maximum award to $13,000 and investing $300 billion in federal research and development over the next three years.
Following the meetings, Colorado Reps. Joe Neguse and Jason Crow each requested support from House appropriators for a pair of student pipeline projects advanced by the CU Boulder and CU Anschutz campuses, respectively. This year marks the first in a decade in which members of Congress can request federal support for community projects in their districts. Under House rules, Representatives were limited to requesting ten projects, making the selection process highly competitive. CU is grateful to Rep. Neguse for carrying a proposal to support student academic success, persistence, and retention of underserved and first-generation communities across rural communities in Colorado, including in Fort Morgan and the San Luis Valley. We are likewise grateful to Rep. Crow for carrying a project to support underrepresented minority and first-generation student participation in health professions by growing the student talent pipeline and providing support and mentorship throughout their studies.
In addition to these CU projects, Rep. Neguse authored a letter requesting $640 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). OAR research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. OAR funds NOAA’s climate research programs and supports its extramural partnerships with universities. The CU Boulder-based Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is the oldest and largest of NOAA’s Cooperative Institutes and supports more than 800 environmental scientists. Rep. Neguse also led a letter in support of research programs at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), requesting $938 million for NIST’s core laboratory research programs, $180 million for NIST facilities and construction, and robust funding to restart NIST’s extramural construction program, which supported construction of university research facilities. NIST has partnered with CU Boulder for nearly 60 years to advance research in the physical sciences through its joint research institute, JILA.
At CU’s urging, Reps. Crow and Lamborn also led a letter on behalf of the Colorado delegation in support of funding a University of Consortium for Space Technology Development out of the Department of Defense. The aim of the university-led consortium would be to accelerate the translation of fundamental research and early-stage technologies to support the national security space enterprise. Reps. DeGette and Buck joined in signing onto this letter.
Moreover, at CU’s request the Colorado congressional delegation also signed onto a series of “dear colleague” letters to House and Senate appropriators in support of CU research and education priorities, including NIH, NSF, DOE’s Office of Science, Space Grant, the Assistive Technology Act, HRSA Title VIII, Title VI/Fulbright-Hays International Education, Institute of Education Sciences, NEH, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Members of the Colorado delegation also signed onto letters to advance quantum information science and technology across NSF, DOE and NIST, as well as support wildfire research and coordination across the federal government. Special thanks to Rep. Perlmutter for leading the wildfire science letter.
University of Colorado Office of the President