Public Research Universities Need Support, Reform

We must remind politicians of the phenomenal return on investment provided by these institutions.

Hannah McDonald working in a lab through the Freshman Research Initiative at the University of Texas­—Austin.
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Key to ensuring that American research universities continue to lead is reminding U.S. elected officials, policymakers, and decision-makers of the phenomenal value and return on investment they contribute to local and regional economies as they promote national innovation and security. University faculty, students, staff, administrators, and external supporters can help by sharing the extraordinary work—and remarkable achievements—that university research produces every day. Objective accountability and performance-based data and measures will provide credibility. Internal reforms that promote the efficient and effective use research dollars would bolster credibility. Accountability tends to promote success.

[See the College Majors With the Best Return on Investment.]

Our research universities have long fueled our nation's innovation and ingenuity, helping to make America economic power we are today. Our hundreds of Nobel Prize winners over the years whose knowledge, work, inspiration, and genius sprung from our universities across the land should inspire our commitment and support for these indispensable institutions.

Right now, thousands of researchers like Nobel Laureates David Wineland, Robert Lefkowitz, and Brian Kobilka are laboring every day for breakthroughs we will celebrate in future years. They, and the universities that sponsor their work, are national treasures we must nurture—or someday lament our failure to do so.

  • Read Stan Litow: U.S. Needs New Educational Model for Economic Growth
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