On Capitol Hill, President Stanley Calls for an End to Sequestration
Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, met with members of Congress and staff this week to urge them to work toward a deal that will end sequestration’s impact on research and higher education. He was joined by Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU); and Eli Capilouto, DMD, president of University of Kentucky.
Meetings were held with Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and congressional and budget staff for Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), who sits on the Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Budget Conference Committee. President Stanley also met with Representatives Chris Collins (R-NY), Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Steve Israel (D-NY).
“We told our Representatives that sequestration is harming education and research at Stony Brook and at other research universities across the nation, and the impacts are only going to get worse if it continues,” said President Stanley. “Sequestration cuts to research and education, occurring at the very time when other nations such as China, Singapore and Korea are dramatically increasing their investments in these areas, are creating an American innovation deficit.”
According to a recent economic study, federal sequestration will cost the U.S. economy $215 billion, 2.14 million jobs and $109 billion in lost wages. In New York State, the economic cost will be $7 billion in lost gross state product, the loss of 4,062 jobs, and $3.6 billion in lost wages. The effect of sequestration has already cost Stony Brook University more than $6 million and has caused the delay or cancellation of 44 projects, the closing of six labs since January 1, and the loss of 69 graduate student positions.
“We met with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle,” said President Stanley. "I was pleased to learn they recognize the importance of University based research and innovation and that they are cautiously optimistic that a deal to end sequestration could be reached."
President Stanley has been a vocal and persistent advocate for the end of sequestration. His efforts include working with members of the Long Island Congressional Delegation, participating in AAU and APLU press conferences, co-signing advocacy letters with university presidents from across the state and nation, and releasing a second op-ed to major news publications.