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University Presidents Warn Against 'Imprudent' Cuts to Higher Education

University Presidents Warn Against 'Imprudent' Cuts to Higher Education

Brodhead joins others in signing message to members of Congressional 'Super Committee'

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Durham, NC - Duke President Richard H. Brodhead joined the leaders of more than 130 U.S. universities Wednesday in calling for a federal budget agreement that focuses on entitlement and tax reforms instead of making further cuts to domestic spending -- including higher education.

The chancellors and presidents sent the letter to members of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The six Democratic and six Republican on the "Super Committee" are currently working to reach a deal by Thanksgiving that produces up to $1.5 trillion in federal savings over the next decade.

The university leaders called on the committee to pursue "a big agreement -- not incremental steps." Noting that "our nation's past focus on education and research has paid extraordinary dividends" and that "investments in student aid have made it possible for generations of young Americans to obtain a college education," they cautioned against "imprudent" budget cuts.

"As national leaders in higher education, we urge the Committee and the Congress to move past contention and to reach a bipartisan compromise to bring the national debt under control and create a pathway for long-term economic growth," their letter concludes. "The Joint Select Committee has a historic opportunity to craft a balanced proposal that is at once bold, sensible, and forward-thinking."

The letter was organized by the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, whose presidents also signed it. The letter's full text and list of signatories is available here. (PDF file)

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