Fiscal Year 2018
Federal Advocacy

In March, President Trump released his fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget blueprint, which outlines the new Administration’s spending priorities. While more details are expected in May, this $1.1 trillion plan includes reductions to research programs, health professions and workforce development program, student aid, and eliminates funding for the arts and humanities and community service programs.  While cuts of this magnitude are of great concern, this is the first step of many in the annual budgeting process. Many of the programs slated for cuts or elimination have broad support in Congress, and we will likely see considerable changes to the President’s proposal.

Our Advocacy Efforts
University leadership and the Office of Government and Community Relations are actively voicing our concerns to our Congressional delegation and are working closely with our associations and the broader research community to urge stable, sustained funding for federal research programs, student aid, and the arts and humanities in FY18.

On this page, you can learn more about the University’s FY18 priorities, as well as the efforts the University has participated in to-date:

Statements on the FY18 Budget
In addition to our direct advocacy, the University and several of our associations have issued statements in response to the FY18 budget blueprint:

University of Rochester Statement on Federal Research Funding
Association of American Universities (AAU)
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
The Science Coalition (TSC)

Over the last five years, the University of Rochester has received more than $1.7 billion in research funding, 75% of which comes from the federal government. We continue to urge Congress to ensure stable and sustained investment in research, which is critical to fueling the new ideas, technologies, and cures for disease on which our economy, health, and national security depend.

The University of Rochester has joined the following efforts supporting federal investments in scientific research in FY17 and FY18:

    • On April 25, AAU Presidents and Chancellors released a statement urging a reaffirmation of the Government-University research partnership that, thanks in large part to federally-funded scientific research, has fostered unprecedented scientific achievement and economic growth in the United States since WWII.
    • On April 13, Dr. Taubman sent a letter to the Rochester area Congressional delegation expressing deep concern with cuts proposed to federally-funded scientific research in FY18. The letter explained the devastating impact it would have on the University and the nation’s research enterprise, and urged continued support for funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
    • On April 6, AAAS led a letter signed by 286 U.S. business, science and engineering, medical and health, and higher education organizations urging robust investments in scientific R&D in final FY17 spending and rejecting the Administration’s proposed cuts to scientific research in FY18.
    • On March 10, AAU sent a letter on behalf of its 60 U.S. member research universities to the President and Congressional leadership urging that the FY17 and FY18 appropriations processes “revitalize the federal government’s scientific research and higher education investment strategy.”
    • On March 1, NDD (Non-Defense Discretionary) United sent a letter signed by more than 2,000 organizations, including AAU, AAMC, and TSC stressing the consequences of repeated cuts over the last six years and urging Congress and the Administration to protect NDD programs in FY18.
    • On February 7, the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research led a letter signed by 260 patient, medical, scientific, academic, and research organizations to President Trump and Congressional leadership urging completion of an FY17 spending package with at least $34.1 billion for the NIH. 

Higher Education, the Arts and Humanities
At the University of Rochester, 86% of our undergraduates receive financial aid. While we are providing approximately $211 million in institutional aid to our students this year, federal and state student aid programs are also critical to ensuring all students have access to high-quality higher education.

  • On April 12, a group of 26 higher education associations, led by ACE, sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressing concern with the recent suspension of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data retrieval tool (DRT) that makes the FAFSA application process quicker and more accurate for students and borrowers.
  • On April 5, the Student Aid Alliance sent a letter signed by 576 institutions, including the University of Rochester, urging Congress to protect the federal student loan program, Pell Grants, SEOG, FWS, TRIO and GEAR UP.
  • On March 31st, Gloria Culver, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Jamal Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music, Jonathan Binstock, Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director of the Memorial Art Gallery, and Mary Ann Mavrinac, Vice Provost and Neilly Dean of University of Rochester Libraries sent a joint letter urging local Members of Congress to reject the proposed elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute for Museum and Library Services, and continue to ensure stable, sustained funding for these important programs in FY18.

What You Can Do
As these initial budget proposals are further refined in the weeks ahead, there will be an opportunity for faculty and staff to voice their views.  To ensure that we use your advocacy to its greatest impact, we will continue to update you on further developments and timing in future communications.

Please continue to check this page for further updates and information, and feel free to contact the Office of Government and Community Relations.