AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA
Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to
Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security
Committee on Research Universities
Board on Higher Education and Workforce
Policy and Global Affairs
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Grant No. 2010-3-04 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Grant No. 10-96822-000-HCD with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Grant No. OIA-1048372 with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-25639-1
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-25639-9
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012939571
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Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES
Chad Holliday, Chair, Chairman of the Board, Bank of America, and Chairman and CEO, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) (retired) [NAE]
Peter Agre, University Professor and Director, Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University [NAS/IOM]
Enriqueta Bond, President, Burroughs Wellcome Fund (retired) [IOM]
C. W. Paul Chu, T. L. L. Temple Chair of Science and Professor of Physics, University of Houston, and Former President, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology [NAS]
Francisco Cigarroa, Chancellor, The University of Texas System [IOM]
James Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering, University of Michigan [NAE]
Ronald Ehrenberg, Irving M. Ives Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics, and Director, Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University
William Frist, Distinguished University Professor, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, and United States Senator (retired)
William Green, Chairman and CEO, Accenture
John Hennessy, President and Bing Presidential Professor, Stanford University [NAS/NAE]
Walter Massey, President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and President Emeritus, Morehouse College
Burton McMurtry, Former Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist and Former Chair, Stanford University Board of Trustees
Ernest Moniz, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, Director of the Energy Initiative, and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the MIT Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal (President) and Vice Chancellor, and Professor, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University
Cherry Murray, Dean, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Professor of Physics, Harvard University [NAS/NAE]
Hunter Rawlings, President Emeritus and Professor of Classical History, Cornell University*
John Reed, Chairman of the MIT Corporation and Chairman and CEO, Citigroup (retired)
Teresa Sullivan, President, University of Virginia
Sidney Taurel, Chairman and CEO, Eli Lilly & Company (retired)
Lee T. Todd, Jr., President, University of Kentucky
Laura D’Andrea Tyson, S. K. and Angela Chan Chair in Global Management, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley
Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Systems
Peter H. Henderson, Study Director
James Voytuk, Senior Program Officer
Tom Arrison, Senior Program Officer
Mark Regets, Senior Program Officer (until January 31, 2011)
Michelle Crosby-Nagy, Research Associate (until January 14, 2011)
Laura DeFeo, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Paola Giusti-Rodriguez, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Amy Hein, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Michelle Tangredi, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Sabrina Hall, Program Associate
*Hunter Rawlings resigned in May 2011 upon his appointment as President, Association of American Universities.
BOARD ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE
William E. Kirwan, Chair, Chancellor, University System of Maryland
F. King Alexander, President, California State University, Long Beach
Susan K. Avery, President and Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Jean-Lou Chameau, President, California Institute of Technology [NAE]
Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Professor of Biomathematics and Director, Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Arizona State University
Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland College Park and The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health [NAS]
Peter Ewell, Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
Sylvia Hurtado, Professor and Director, Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles
William Kelley, Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry, and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine [IOM]
Earl Lewis, Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of History, Emory University
Paula Stephan, Professor of Economics, Andrew Young School for Policy Studies, Georgia State University
Peter Henderson, Director
Gail Greenfield, Senior Program Officer
Sabrina Hall, Program Associate
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REQUEST FROM CONGRESS
In 2005 a bipartisan group in Congress asked the National Academies to identify the key steps that the U.S. Congress should take to ensure a science and technology enterprise that would enable the United States to compete in the global economy of the 21st century. In response, the National Academies appointed a committee, under the leadership of Norman Augustine, that produced Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.1 That report provided a powerful framework for discussing America’s competitiveness as well as recommendations that formed the basis of the America COMPETES Act.2
Four years later, in 2009, Senators Lamar Alexander and Barbara Mikulski and Representatives Bart Gordon and Ralph Hall requested that the National Academies provide a follow-up report that examines more deeply the health and competitiveness of the nation’s research universities. They noted that America’s research universities “have been the critical assets that have laid the groundwork—through research and doctoral education—for the development of many of the competitive advantages that make possible the high American standard of living.” But they also
1 National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2007.
2 America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act, Public Law No. 110-69.
noted that, while our research universities are admired throughout the world and their contributions cannot be overstated, they are nonetheless “under stress, even as other countries are measurably improving the quality of their research institutions.” Consequently, they requested that the Academies “assess the organizational, intellectual, and financial capacity of public and private American research universities relative to research universities internationally.”3
CHARGE TO THE STUDY COMMITTEE
The Governing Board of the National Research Council accepted the request from Congress. The NRC then empanelled a study committee composed of individuals who are leaders in academia, industry, government, and national laboratories. In selecting the committee, the NRC sought not only balance across sectors, but also diversity among academic institutions, balance across fields, and wide geographic distribution, including individuals with significant international experience. The committee was charged with the following task:
An ad hoc committee will author a consensus report with findings and recommendations that answer the question:
What are the top ten actions that Congress, the federal government, state governments, research universities, and others could take to assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st century.
The study committee will, in carrying out its work, focus on:
• Research and doctoral programs carried out by research universities and associated medical centers;
• Basic and applied research in research universities, along with collaborative research programs with other components of the research enterprise (e.g., national and federal laboratories, federally funded research and development centers, and corporate research laboratories);
• Doctoral education and, to the extent necessary, the pathways to graduate education and research careers; and
• Fields of study and research that are critical to helping the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security, with a focus on science, engineering, and medicine.
3 See Appendix A for Letter of Request.
In carrying out this charge, the study committee will, in addition to other tasks it identifies:
• Describe and assess the historical development, current status, trends, and societal impact of research universities and the “ecosystem” of this set of institutions in the United States, placing these institutions in the context of the nation’s research, innovation, and industrial enterprises and the nation’s system of higher education;
• Assess the organizational, financial, and intellectual capacity of public and private research universities in the United States, including reference to research universities internationally to the extent possible with existing data; and
• Envision the mission and organization of these diverse institutions 10–20 years into the future and the steps needed to get there.
The study committee has taken stock of the health of our nation’s research universities today and envisioned the role we would like them to play in our nation’s life 10 to 20 years from now. They have found that without reservation, our research universities are, today, the best in the world, yet they face critical threats and challenges that may seriously erode their quality. In response to its charge, the committee produced this report—their vision for strengthening these institutions so that they may remain dynamic assets over the coming decades—as the launch of a decade-long effort involving many constituencies. In order for the program they outline to ensure we have strong research universities 20 years from now that remain critical national assets, the actions necessary to implement their recommendations and achieve our goals will necessarily evolve as their details are thought through, new challenges and opportunities arise, and as we surely emerge from the economic circumstances present at the time of their writing. Experience with earlier reports, such as Rising Above the Gathering Storm, suggests that the role of this report should be to lay out and justify the findings concerning the challenges and needs, provide general recommendations that may be adapted to changing circumstances, and then develop implementation plans for each constituency that will evolve and adapt in a changing world (e.g., the economy).
America’s research universities have been “breaking through” to create a better life for Americans for more than a century. While Bell Labs and their counterparts have given way to Silicon Valley and their counterparts, American research universities continue to provide the heartbeat that keeps major innovation alive. The plan for action in this report, when followed for the remainder of this decade, will set the course for contin-
ued American leadership and good jobs for Americans. As this report is finalized, citizens from all over the world question America’s capability to lead the world to a new century of growth. As Americans, we must accept this challenge, and these 10 recommendations hold a critical key to that success.
|Charles M. Vest, President||Charles O. Holliday, Jr., Chair|
|National Academy of Engineering||Committee on Research Universities|
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process.
We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Patrick Aebischer, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Nancy Andrews, Duke University; Robert Atkinson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; William Banholzer, Dow Chemical Company; Steven Beckwith, University of California; Robert Berdahl, Association of American Universities; Richard Celeste, Colorado College; Jonathan Cole, Columbia University; Rita Colwell, University of Maryland; Anthony DeCrappeo, Council on Government Relations; David Goldston, Natural Resources Defense Council; Stephen Emerson, Haverford College; Leroy Fletcher, Texas A&M University; Paul Gray, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Peter McPherson, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; William Press, University of Texas; Alison Richard, Yale University; Michael Rothschild, Princeton University; Debra Stewart, Council of Graduate Schools; Ronald Sugar, Northrop Grumman Corporation; Jack Martin Wilson, University of Massachusetts; and Nancy Fugate Woods, University of Washington.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Maxine Savitz, Honeywell Inc. (retired) and Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University. Appointed by the National Academies, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
The study committee thanks the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for the financial support they provided for this study and the many experts who met with the committee to provide their insights on the policy, organizational, financial, and intellectual issues central to the committee’s charge. Special thanks to Ariella Barrett, Research Librarian for her assistance verifying the citations. We also thank the staff of the National Research Council who helped organize our committee meetings and draft the report.
Boxes, Figures, and Tables
Note: In three-digit box, figure, and table numbers, the middle number indicates the Recommendation that the box, table, or figure corresponds to.
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own governours must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
—President James Madison, 1822
Entrance to the James Madison Building of the
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