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5 Action REPOSITIONING OUR RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES IN A CHANGED WORLD The emergence of our nation’s research universities and the estab- lishment of a strong federal-university partnership driving research and doctoral education has been a success story for the American people, contributing to our economic prosperity and national goals. Through education and research, American research universities have produced the talent and knowledge that generates innovation critical to economic growth and a high American standard of living. The Great Recession and the “flattening of the world,” though, have made it clear that there is an urgent need to develop a compelling and ef- fective national strategy for sustaining our world-class research universi- ties that reinforces the partnership of research universities with federal and state governments and expands it to include a larger role for business. It is time to act. In the midst of the Civil War, one of our nation’s deep- est crises, Congress passed, and President Abraham Lincoln signed, the Morrill Act, thereby laying the foundation for the land-grant universities that generated a productive agricultural and industrial society. So too, the nation now needs to act in the context of present circumstances to assure the vitality of its research universities in a global knowledge economy. For our research universities to continue to fulfill their obligations to the nation, they must have sufficient resources and a robust infrastructure, sound organizational and administrative structures, a vibrant intellectual community, and the ability to translate research discoveries into societal 69
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70 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA benefits. Without these, states and regions that are currently sustained by their research universities may lose their competitive edge, and our nation may fall short in both meeting its national goals and continuing its strong global leadership. PRINCIPLES For the past half-century, the research and graduate programs of America’s research universities have been essential contributors to the nation’s prosperity, health, and security. Today, our nation faces new challenges, a time of rapid and profound economic, social, and politi- cal transformation driven by the growth in knowledge and innovation. Educated people, the knowledge they produce, and the innovation and entrepreneurial skills they possess, particularly in the fields of science and engineering, have become the keys to America’s future. We have taken stock of the organizational, financial, and intellectual health of our na- tion’s research universities today and have envisioned the role we would like them to play in our nation’s life 10 to 20 years from now. We can say without reservation that our research universities are, today, the best in the world and an important resource for our nation, yet, at the same time, in grave danger of not only losing their place of global leadership but of serious erosion in quality due to critical trends in public support. Our vision for strengthening these institutions so that they may re- main dynamic assets over the coming decades involves both increasing their productivity and ensuring their strong support for education and re- search. Therefore, it is essential that the unique partnership that has long existed among the nation’s research universities, the federal government, the states, and business and industry be reaffirmed and strengthened. This will require • A balanced set of commitments by each of the partners—federal government, state governments, research universities, and business and industry—to provide leadership for the nation in a knowledge-intensive world and to develop and implement enlightened policies, efficient oper- ating practices, and necessary investments. • Use of matching requirements among these commitments that provide strong incentives for participation at comparable levels by each partner. • Sufficient flexibility to accommodate differences among research universities and the diversity of their various stakeholders. While merit, impact, and need should continue to be the primary criteria for awarding research grants and contracts by federal agencies, investment in infra- structure should consider additional criteria such as regional and cross-
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ACTION 71 institutional partnerships, program focus, and opportunities for building significant research capacity. • A commitment to a decade-long effort that seeks to both address challenges and take advantage of opportunities as they emerge. • A recognition of the importance of supporting the comprehensive nature of the research university, spanning the full spectrum of academic and professional disciplines, including the physical, life, and social and behavioral sciences; engineering; the arts and humanities; and the profes- sions, that enable it to provide the broad research and education programs required by a knowledge- and innovation-driven global economy. Within this partnership, our research universities―with a historical com- mitment to excellence, academic freedom, and service to society―must pledge themselves to a new level of partnership with government and business, recommit to being the places where the best minds in the world want to work, think, educate, and create new ideas, and commit to deliv- ering better outcomes for each dollar spent. As articulated in the Millen- nium Declaration of 2001 on the future of research universities: For a thousand years the university has benefited our civilization as a learning community where both the young and the experienced could acquire not only knowledge and skills, but the values and discipline of the educated mind. It has defended and propagated our cultural and intellectual heritage, while challenging our norms and beliefs. It has produced the leaders of our governments, commerce, and professions. It has both created and applied new knowledge to serve our society. And it has done so while preserving those values and principles so essential to academic learning: the freedom of inquiry, an openness to new ideas, a commitment to rigorous study, and a love of learning. There seems little doubt that these roles will continue to be needed by our civiliza- tion. There is little doubt as well that the university, in some form, will be needed to provide them. The university of the 21st century may be as different from today’s institutions as the research university is from the colonial college. But its form and its continued evolution will be a consequence of transformations necessary to provide its ancient values and contributions to a changing world.1 RECOMMENDATIONS With these principles in mind, the committee provides 10 recom- mendations that the federal government, the states, research universities, 1 Declaration summarized in James J. Duderstadt, A University for the 21st Century. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2003, p. 324. Original text of the declaration is available at: http://www.glion.org/pub_1999_millennium.aspx (accessed March 23, 2012).
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72 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA and business and industry can act on to maintain the level of world-class excellence in research and graduate education necessary for the United States to compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the twenty-first century. The first four recommendations reaffirm the commitments of each major partner, and the following six enable these commitments. It is important that these recommendations must be implemented together, as they reinforce each other in critical ways. Universities are today among the most complex institutions in mod- ern society. As James Duderstadt has noted, research universities are comprised of many activities, some nonprofit, some publicly regulated, and some operating in intensely competitive marketplaces. They teach students, conduct research for various clients, provide health care, engage in economic development, stimulate social change, and provide mass entertainment (e.g., athletics). In systems terminology, the modern univer- sity is a “loosely coupled, adaptive system,” with a growing complexity, as its various components respond to changes in its environment. 2 As the major focus of the charge to the committee was graduate edu- cation and research, we preface our recommendations by reinforcing the importance of undergraduate education, both in the research universities that we are examining and in other important institutions, from liberal arts colleges to state universities that also provide undergraduate educa- tion. The strength of undergraduate teaching and learning to our nation’s workforce and prosperity and to preparing students who go on to gradu- ate study cannot be overstated. Similarly, the unusually broad intellectual needs of the nation and the increasing interdependence of the academic disciplines provide com- pelling reasons why such federal support should encompass all areas of scholarship, including the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, and professional disciplines such as engineering, education, law, and medicine. Our report and its recommendations are designed to encourage support across all of these areas.3 Recommendation 1 Within the broader framework of United States innovation and re- search and development (R&D) strategies, the federal government should adopt stable and effective policies, practices, and funding for university- performed R&D and graduate education so that the nation will have a 2 James J. Duderstadt, A University for the 21st Century, p. 50. 3 We look forward to a Congressionally requested report on the role of the humanities and social sciences in our nation, due in 2012 from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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ACTION 73 stream of new knowledge and educated people to power our future, help- ing us meet national goals and ensure prosperity and security. Actors and Actions—Implementing Recommendation 1: • Federal government: The federal government should review and modify those research policies and practices governing university re- search and graduate education that have become burdensome and in- efficient, such as research cost reimbursement, unnecessary regulation, and awkward variation and coordination among federal agencies. (See Recommendations 6 and 7.) • Federal government—Congress, Administration, federal science and technology (S&T) agencies: Over the next decade as the economy improves, Congress and the administration should invest in basic re- search and graduate education at a level sufficient to produce the new knowledge and educated citizens necessary to achieve national goals. As a core component of a national plan to raise total national R&D to 3 per- cent of gross domestic product (GDP), Congress and the Administration should provide full funding of the amount authorized by the America COMPETES Act that would double the level of basic research conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Stan- dards and Technology (NIST), and Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science as well as sustain our nation’s investment in other key areas of basic research, including biomedical research. Within this investment, as recommend by Rising Above the Gathering Storm,4 a portion of the increase should be directed to high-risk, innovative, and unconventional research. • Federal government—White House Office of Science and Tech- nology Policy (OSTP), President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), National Economic Council (NEC), and Council of Economic Advisors (CEA): On an annual basis in the President’s annual budget request, OMB should develop and present, in coordination with OSTP, a federal science and technology budget that addresses priorities for sustaining a world-class U.S. science and technology enterprise. On a quadrennial ba- sis, OSTP, in conjunction with PCAST, and OMB, in conjunction with the NEC and CEA, should review federal science and technology spending and outcomes, internationally benchmarked, to ensure that federal S&T spending is adequate in size to support our economy and appropriately targeted to meet national goals. We recommend that this process consider 4 National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medi- cine, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2007.
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74 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA U.S. global leadership, a focus on developing new knowledge, balance in the science and technology portfolio, reliable and predictable streams of funding, and a commitment to merit review. Budget Implications This recommendation calls for stable and effective federal research policies and practices, the budget implications of which are outlined under several recommendations below. The recommendation also aims to ensure robust financial support for critical federal basic research pro- grams. It supports funding increases that Congress has already authorized through the America COMPETES Act for the doubling of funding for the NSF, NIST, and DOE Office of Science. These increases target stronger in- vestment in physical sciences and engineering research, but do not imply any disinvestment in critical fields such as the life sciences and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Indeed, we recommend Congressio- nal action to at least maintain current levels of funding for basic research across other federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as adjusted for inflation. Research universities, along with other research performers (national laboratories, nonprofit research and devel- opment organizations, and industry), will only benefit from these actions through their success in competing for federal grants and contracts from these agencies. Expected Outcomes Supportive federal research policies would ensure stable funding and cost-efficient regulation sufficient to enable corresponding university investment in research facilities and graduate programs. By completing the funding of the America COMPETES Act, the nation would achieve a balanced research portfolio capable of driving innovation necessary for economic prosperity. As research and education are deliberately in- tertwined in our American research universities, such funding will also ensure that we continue to produce the scientists, engineers, physicians, teachers, scholars, and other knowledge professionals essential to the na- tion’s security, health, and prosperity. Discussion Context Nations around the world have recognized the importance of in- vestment in research and doctoral education, both of which build their
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ACTION 75 nation’s research universities, contribute to economic growth, and im- prove global competitiveness. In most instances, they have developed comprehensive national strategies designed to strengthen their research base and their institutions to compete for students and faculty, resources, and reputation (see Box 4-1). The United States has begun to lag on a key, internationally recog- nized indicator of national investment in the development of new knowl- edge: national (public and private) R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP. As shown in Figure 5-1.1, public and private R&D expenditures in the United States have hovered between 2.5 and 2.8 percent of GDP over the last three decades. It stood at 2.79 percent in 2008. By comparison, as shown in Figures 5-1.1 and 5-1.2, Japan has increased its national R&D funding from about 2.8 percent of GDP in 1996 to 3.4 percent in 2007, while South Korea has increased its spending even further, reaching 3.5 percent of GDP in that year. While R&D in Germany as a percent of GDP is slightly lower than that of the United States, its nondefense R&D as a percentage of GDP is higher than that of the United States and the gap between the two countries is growing. The annual rate of growth in na- tional R&D expenditures was 5-6 percent for the United States and the European Union (EU-27), while rates of growth for many Asian countries were far higher. China’s annual growth in national R&D expenditures was 20 percent for the period 1996 to 2007.5 Targets Embedded in a broader federal innovation strategy that addresses national research and development priorities, the nation must develop a framework of national funding goals and supportive policies that sus- tain the nation’s research universities at world-class levels. The current Administration developed and issued the National Innovation Strategy in September 2009 and presented an updated version drafted by the National Economic Council, the Council of Economic Advisors, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy in February 2011. This strategy provides a broad policy context and includes a short section focused on strengthening and broadening “American leadership in fundamental re- search.” This provides an excellent foundation from which to craft a more detailed strategy for sustaining the nation’s R&D enterprise, fundamental research, and U.S. research universities. For example, it sets a national goal “for America to invest more than three percent of our GDP in public and private research and development” noting that “this investment rate 5 National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators, 2010, (NSB 10-01), Arling- ton, VA: National Science Foundation, 2010, Figures 4-13 and 4-16, pages 4-35 and 4-36.
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76 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA FIGURE 5-1.1 Gross expenditures on R&D as share of gross domestic product, Figure 5.1.1.eps for selected countries: 1981-2007. bitmap Source: National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators 2010. (NSB 10-01) Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2010, Figure 4-16, page 4-36.
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ACTION 77 Figure 5.1.2.eps FIGURE 5-1.2 Gross domestic expenditures on R&D by United States, EU-27, bitmap OECD, and selected other countries: 1981-2007. Source: National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators 2010. (NSB 10-01) Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2010, Figure 4-13, page 4-35. will surpass the level achieved at the height of the space race, and can be achieved through policies that support basic and applied research, create new incentives for private innovation, promote breakthroughs in national priority areas, and improve [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] STEM education.”6 Table 5-1.1 displays 2008 U.S. R&D in current dollars and as a percentage of GDP and shows total national R&D spending in that year at 2.79 percent. An increase to 3 percent of GDP would potentially lift all components of R&D, including federally funded, university-performed research. Indeed, the committee recommends federal R&D appropriations lev- els that would sustain and enhance university-based research. We strongly support the goals articulated by Rising Above the Gathering Storm and au- 6 TheWhite House, A Strategy for American Innovation: Securing Our Economic Growth and Prosperity, February 2011.
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78 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA TABLE 5-1.1 U.S. R&D, 2008 Expenditures Current Funding Current ($ billions) Percent of GDP Gross Domestic Product 14,264.6 100.00 National R&D (all sources, all performers) 397.3 2.79 Federally funded R&D 103.7 0.73 National basic research (all sources) 69.10 0.48 Federally funded basic research 39.4 0.28 University-performed R&D 51.9 0.36 Federally funded, university-performed R&D 31.3 0.22 University-performed basic research 39.4 0.28 Federally funded, university-performed basic 24.5 0.17 research Sources: NSF/NCSES, Academic R&D Expenditures, Fiscal Year 2009, Tables 1, 2, and 3. Available at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf11313/content.cfm?pub_id=4065&id=2 (ac- cessed September 4, 2011). NSF/NCSES, national patterns of R&D Resources, Tables 6 and 13. Available at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/natlpatterns/ (accessed September 4, 2011). thorized in the America COMPETES Act of 2010 that would increase the support of basic research key to sustaining the nation’s innovation neces- sary for prosperity and national security by doubling the budgets of the NSF, DOE Office of Science, and NIST. We also strongly urge that federal appropriations for basic research in support of other key national goals such as health (NIH), defense (Department of Defense [DOD]), space (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and agriculture (U.S. Department of Agriculture) be sustained at least at the rate of inflation. Figure 5-1.3 shows that federally funded, university-performed R&D as a percentage of GDP increased from 1998 to 2005, while the NIH budget doubled, from about 0.17 percent to about 0.24 percent, and has since decreased to 0.22 percent. This mirrors the flattening of federally funded university R&D and the decline of federally funded research generally (in constant dollars) seen in Figures 5-1.4 and 5-1.5. Providing the appropria- tions we recommend can help reverse these declines and ensure that we are strongly investing for the future. Principles The following are important principles for federal R&D funding, many articulated in previous National Academies reports:
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ACTION 79 0.26% 0.24% 0.22% 0.20% Percent of GDP 0.18% 0.16% 0.14% 0.12% 0.10% 2000 2006 2004 2005 2008 2003 2002 2007 2001 1990 1996 1998 1999 1994 1995 1992 1993 1997 1991 FIGURE 5-1.3 Federally funded, university-performed research and develop- ment as a percentage of GDP,Figure 5.1.3.eps 1990-2008. Source: NSF/NCSES, Academic R&D Expenditures, Fiscal Year 2009, Table 1. Available at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf11313/content.cfm?pub_id= 4065&id=2 (accessed September 4, 2011). NSF/NCSES, National Patterns of R&D Resources, Table 13. Available at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/natlpatterns/ (accessed September 4, 2011). • Focus on global leadership: At the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Congress asked the National Academies to identify priority areas for future federal investment and to provide a foundation upon which fed- eral science and technology (FS&T) budgetary policy can be built and analyzed. In Science, Technology, and the Federal Government: National Goals for a New Era (1993), the National Academies recommended two goals to guide federal investment in science and technology: o First, the United States should be among the world leaders in all major areas of science. Achieving this goal would allow this nation to quickly apply and extend advances in science wherever they occur. o Second, the United States should maintain clear leadership in some areas of science. The decision to select a field for leadership would
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168 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA sions, histories, cultures, student populations, and geographic locations of institutions with demonstrated success. 6. Evaluation of STEM programs and increased research on the many dimensions of underrepresented minorities’ experience in STEM help ensure that programs are well informed, well designed, and successful. Box 5-9.2 outlines the six broad recommendations from the report that address important issues across the educational pathway of laying an academic foundation in reading and arithmetic, preparation in science and mathematics, motivation for STEM education careers, access to and affordability of higher education, and academic and social integration. We strongly recommend that K–12 and higher education institutions as well as other actors pay careful attention to the detailed actions provided in this significant report on how to achieve these broad recommendations. As a priority for the short term, the report recommended the nation BOX 5-9.2 Broad Recommendations Across STEM Educational Pathways Outlined in Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation 1. Pre-School through Grade 3 Education: Prepare America’s children for school through pre-school and early education programs that develop reading readiness, provide early mathematics skills, and introduce concepts of creativity and discovery. 2. K–12 Mathematics and Science: Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K–12 mathematics and science education for underrepresented minorities. 3. K–12 Teacher Preparation and Retention: Improve K–12 mathematics and science education for underrepresented minorities overall by improving the preparedness of those who teach them those subjects. 4. Access and Motivation: Improve access to all post-secondary education and technical training and increase underrepresented minority student awareness of and motivation for STEM education and careers through improved information, counseling, and outreach. 5. Affordability: Develop America’s advanced STEM workforce by providing adequate financial support to underrepresented minority students in undergradu- ate and graduate STEM education. 6. Academic and Social Support: Take coordinated action to transform the nation’s higher education institutions to increase inclusion of and college comple- tion and success in STEM education for underrepresented minorities. Source: National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2011).
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ACTION 169 FIGURE 5-9.4 Percentage of 2004 freshmen at 4-year institutions who aspire Figure 5.9.4.eps to STEM majors who then completed STEM degrees in 4 and 5 years, by race/ ethnicity. bitmap Source: University of California Los Angeles, Higher Education Research In- stitute, Degrees of Success: Bachelor’s Degree Completion Rates among Initial STEM Majors, January 2010. Available at: http://www.heri.ucla.edu/nih/down- loads/2010%20-%20Hurtado,%20Eagan,%20Chang%20-%20Degrees%20of%20 Success.pdf (accessed April 22, 2012). focus on undergraduate completion in STEM. Citing new data from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, displayed in Figure 5-9.4, the report argues that the nation needs to take action to address signifi- cantly lower 4- and 5-year completion rates in STEM of underrepresented minorities relative to those of whites and Asian Americans. Since under- represented minorities who matriculate at 4-year institutions aspire to a STEM degree as their peers, these lower completion rates represent both a challenge and an opportunity if we can implement actions that we know from experience work in sustaining the persistence and completion of underrepresented students. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation, therefore, recom- mended policies and programs that seek to increase undergraduate re-
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170 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA tention and completion of underrepresented minorities in STEM through strong academic, social, and financial support. It strongly recommends financial support from the federal government for underrepresented mi- norities that allows them to focus on and succeed in STEM by joining it to programs that simultaneously integrate academic, social, and professional development. It also recommends a federal program modeled on the NSF’s ADVANCE Program that would fund efforts to change institutional cultures in colleges and universities so that they are more supportive of underrepresented minorities. The report concludes by arguing that all of the nation’s higher edu- cation institutions—including research universities—must play a role in implementing this priority action. It argued that while diversity of insti- tutions is an asset, “currently, only a small number of institutions” are playing the role that all must play. It notes that these institutions “are di- verse and can be found among all institutional types and categories; they are successful because they are doing something special to support the retention and completion of underrepresented minority undergraduates in the natural sciences and engineering. Their actions can be replicated and when they are, with a focus on both numbers and quality, it will pay off significantly.”74 The report identifies the importance of leadership in creating a positive institutional environment for minority integration and success; practical steps that can be taken to increase the completion of mi- norities (making student success a priority, tracking student achievement, identifying choke points such as course availability, and improving course transfer); key elements for successful program development (resources and sustainability, coordination and integration, focus on the pipeline and transition points, program design execution, and evaluation); and proven, intensive interventions for underrepresented minorities in STEM (sum- mer programs, research experiences, professional development activities, academic support and social integration, and mentoring). Recommendation 10 Ensure that the United States will continue to benefit strongly from the participation of international students and scholars in our research enterprise. Actors and Actions—Implementing Recommendation 10: • Federal government: Federal agencies should ensure that visa processing for international students and scholars who wish to study or 74 Ibid., p. 8.
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ACTION 171 conduct research in the United States is as efficient and effective as pos- sible, consistent also with homeland security considerations. • Federal government: As we benefit from the contributions of highly skilled, foreign-born researchers, the federal government should also streamline the processes for non-U.S. doctoral researchers to obtain permanent residency or U.S. citizenship in order to ensure that a high proportion remain in the United States. The United States should con- sider taking the strong step of granting residency (a Green Card) to each non-U.S. citizen who earns a doctorate in an area of national need from an accredited research university. The Department of Homeland Security should set the criteria for and make selections of areas of national need and of the set of accredited institutions in cooperation with the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. • Federal government: Engage in the proactive recruitment of inter- national students and scholars. Budget Implications There is no additional cost. Expected Outcomes The United States has benefited significantly over the last half-century and more from highly talented individuals who have come to the United States from abroad to study or conduct research. Today, there is increasing competition for these individuals as students or researchers both in gen- eral and from their home countries. It is in the interest of the United States to attract and keep individuals who will create new knowledge and/or convert it to new products, industries, and jobs in the United States. Discussion The federal government should also strongly encourage the contin- ued study and work of international graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in U.S. science and engineering through improvements in visa, residency, and citizenship processes. As James Duderstadt has noted, “Aging populations, out-migration, and shrinking workforces are seri- ously challenging the productivity of developed economies throughout Europe and Asia. Yet, here the United States stands apart because of an- other important demographic trend: immigration. As it has been so many times in its past, America is once again becoming a highly diverse na- tion of immigrants, benefiting immensely from their energy, talents, and
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172 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA hope.”75 In fact, today, one-quarter or more of new high-tech companies launched in the United States are founded by immigrants.76 Attracting such talent to the United States is particularly important in knowledge- intensive, high-skill areas such as science and technology. Here, American research universities are extraordinary assets, since the world-class qual- ity of their programs attract the best and brightest from around the world as students and faculty. The attractiveness of U.S. research universities for non-U.S. doctoral students and researchers is still a relative strength of American research universities. As seen in Figure 5-10.1, temporary residents earn a significant percentage of doctorates from U.S. institutions in key fields, including 27 percent in the life sciences, 42 percent in the physical sciences, and 55 percent in engineering. Moreover, this has been a significant benefit to U.S. research universities and, by extension, to the United States generally, as we have often drawn the very best students from overseas. These highly trained individuals are the best affirmation of U.S. academic leadership, and many of them are the sparks for contin- ued domestic innovation and economic growth in our highly competitive global community. However, trends can reverse. In the late 1990s, doctoral students from Taiwan and South Korea, the leading countries of origin, peaked both in number and in the percentage that stayed in the United States following degree receipt. That is, fewer came and of those who did, an increasing proportion returned home due to increases in opportunities there. They were replaced by India and China as the leading countries of origin. 77 As the growing strength of Ph.D. programs, research opportunities, and 75 James J. Duderstadt, Higher Education in the 21st Century: Global Imperatives, Re- gional Challenges, National Responsibilities, and Emerging Opportunities, Septem- ber 1, 2007. Available at: http://milproj.ummu.umich.edu/pdfs/2008/Glion%20VI%20 Globalization.pdf (accessed March 22, 2012). 76 Vivek Wadhwa, AnnaLee Saxenian, Ben Rissing, and Gary Gereffi, America’s new im- migrant entrepreneurs: Part I (January 4, 2007). Duke Science, Technology & Innovation Paper No. 23. Available at: SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=990152. This report found that 25.3 percent of the engineering and technology companies started in the United States from 1995 to 2005 had at least one foreign-born founder. The “New American” Fortune 500, A Report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, June 2011, available at: http://www. renewoureconomy.org/2011_06_15_1, found that close to “20 percent of the newest Fortune 500 companies—those founded over the 25-year period between 1985 and 2010—have an immigrant founder.” American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness, A joint study by National Venture Capital Association, Stuart Ander- son (National Foundation for American Policy), and Michaela Platzer (Content First, LLC) (available at : http://www.nvca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25 4&Itemid=103), found that “40 percent of U.S. publicly traded venture-backed companies operating in high-technology manufacturing today  were started by immigrants.” 77 Peter H. Henderson et al., Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities: Sum- mary Report 1995. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1996.
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ACTION 173 70.0% 60.0% 55.2% 50.0% 42.4% 40.0% 30.1% 30.0% 27.2% 21.8% 20.0% 14.8% 10.0% 8.7% 0.0% Engineering Physical Life Social/ Humanities Education Other Sciences Sciences Behavioral Non-S&E -10.0% Sciences Fields FIGURE 5-10.1 Doctorate awards to temporary visa holder by major field of study, 2009. Figure 5.10.1.eps Source: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineer- ing Statistics, Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities, 2009, (NSF 11-306). Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, December 2011. Table 20. Available at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf11306/ (accessed December 10, 2011). incentives increase in India and China over the next decade, will future trends for their students follow the pattern we have seen for South Korea and China? How long will it take to see this trend play out? Recent trends in the number of international graduate student applications, admissions, and enrollment can be seen in Figure 5-10.2, and the number of doctorates awarded to non-U.S. students on temporary visas can be seen in Figure 5-10.3. These trends show significant oscillation and uncertainty about future directions. The United States should make enhancements to immigration policy that would encourage talented international graduates from programs in science and engineering to remain in the United States and allow the country to benefit from the investment in their graduate education. Ris- ing Above the Gathering Storm addressed this issue head-on by arguing for improvements in visa processing for international students and scholars; providing a 1-year automatic visa extension to international students who receive doctorates or the equivalent in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or other fields of national need at qualified U.S. institutions
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174 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA FIGURE 5-10.2 Year-to-year percentage change in international student participa- Figure 5.10.2.eps tion in U.S. graduate education, 2003 to 2004 through 2009 to 2010. bitmap Source: Council of Graduate Schools, Findings from the 2011 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phases III: Final Offers of Admission and Enroll- ment, November 2011. Available at: http://www.cgsnet.org/ckfinder/userfiles/ files/R_IntlEnrl11_III.pdf (accessed April 22, 2012). to remain in the United States to seek employment; instituting a new skills-based, preferential immigration option; and reforming the system of “deemed exports” (see Box 5-10.1). Yet current immigration policies continue to seriously constrain the valuable flow of international talent so critical to the economic prosperity of our nation. • The process of obtaining most classes of temporary visas needed to come to the United States contains costs, delays, and uncertainties, though this has improved since Rising Above the Gathering Storm was published. • There are application fees and separate wait times for obtaining an interview and a determination. Around one-quarter of those who ap- ply for student visas are rejected. While this rate is believed to be much lower for accepted applicants to research universities, it is still reported as an issue. While some rejections and delays are due to security concern, most are because the student was unable to prove that they have no intent to stay in the United States. • An increasing number of international conferences have been placed and held outside of the United States to avoid visa problems. The
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ACTION 175 need to recruit internationally and to have frequent visits from foreign researchers has also made this a factor in the placement of some research laboratories. • Stories of faculty and students being stranded abroad with visa problems, whether common or rare, become oft-repeated horror stories that affect decisions of others to come to the United States. • Restrictions on what research may be undertaken by foreign stu- dents and scholars in the United States affect both decisions to come to the United States and decisions whether to stay—this has improved since publication of Rising Above the Gathering Storm, but restrictions remain. • Foreign researchers are sometimes excluded from a research ac- tivity due to rules, or uncertainty about the rules, that pertain to sensitive areas, restricted exports, or the terms of a specific research grant. • While allowed to work as research assistants on federal grants, 14000 12369 12626 12211 12000 11587 11302 10000 10426 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 FIGURE 5-10.3 Science and engineering doctorates awarded by U.S. institutions to non-U.S. citizens on temporary visas. Source: National Science Foundation, 5.10.3.eps for Science and Engineer- Figure National Center ing Statistics, Numbers of Doctorates Awarded in the United States Declined in 2010 (NSF 12-303), November 2011. Available at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ infbrief/nsf12303/ (accessed December 10, 2011).
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176 RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA BOX 5-10.1 Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Recommendations on Immigration Action C-4: Continue to improve visa processing for international stu- dents and scholars to provide less complex procedures and continue to make improvements on such issues as visa categories and duration, travel for scientific meetings, the technology alert list, reciprocity agreements, and changes in status. Action C-5: Provide a 1-year automatic visa extension to international students who receive doctorates or the equivalent in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or other fields of national need at qualified U.S. institutions to remain in the United States to seek employment. If these students are offered jobs by U.S.-based employers and pass a security screening test, they should be provided automatic work permits and expe- dited residence status. If students are unable to obtain employment within 1 year, their visas would expire. Action C-6: Institute a new skills-based, preferential immigration option. Doctoral-level education and science and engineering skills would substantially raise an applicant’s chances and priority in obtaining U.S. citizenship. In the in- terim, the number of H-1B visas should be increased by 10,000, and the additional visas should be available for industry to hire science and engineering applicants with doctorates from U.S. universities. Action C-7: Reform the current system of “deemed exports.” The new system should provide international students and researchers engaged in fun- damental research in the United States with access to information and research equipment in U.S. industrial, academic, and national laboratories comparable with the access provided to U.S. citizens and permanent residents in a similar status. It would, of course, exclude information and facilities restricted under national-security regulations. In addition, the effect of deemed-exports regulations on the education and fundamental research work of international students and scholars should be limited by removing from the deemed-exports technology list all technology items (information and equipment) that are available for purchase on the overseas open market from foreign or U.S. companies or that have manu- als that are available in the public domain, in libraries, over the Internet, or from manufacturers. Source: National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. foreign students are not usually eligible for federal fellowships and traineeships. • Many job opportunities after graduation are restricted to U.S. citizens. Application for U.S. citizenship usually requires 5 years after receiving a Green Card. Time as a student or with a temporary work visa does not count.
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ACTION 177 Put in the simplest of terms, the United States must address these issues both to ensure that we can capitalize on the flow of international students and scholars and to provide our nation with the talent we need as we make progress on our goals listed under Recommendation 9 in in- creasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in key fields. First, we must ensure that visa, residency, and citizenship pro- cesses are as efficient as possible. Second, we must reform the temporary work authorization visa process (H-1B visas). Third, we must, as a prior- ity, be more proactive, both by recruiting students, postdoctorates, and scholars and by following the practice of other nations such as Canada in encouraging the immigration of international students by attaching a Green Card to every doctorate in science and engineering.
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