March 16, 2017
University of Michigan leaders expressed serious concern regarding President Donald Trump's proposed federal budget, which was released publicly Thursday.
At Thursday's Board of Regents meeting on the UM-Dearborn campus, President Mark Schlissel said the university was working to further assess the federal budget proposal and address it going forward.
"We are deeply concerned about the administration's proposed broad and disruptive cuts to areas that support federally funded research, the arts and the humanities," Schlissel said. "The cuts would have severe consequences and dramatically affect our work as a public research university to serve society and our students.
"America's support of research has long made us the envy of the world. Furthermore, our national security, global competitiveness and future economic strength depend on a robust research pipeline that trains future generations of scientists, and that translates discoveries, to innovations, to actions and to economic growth.
"Such actions include life-saving technologies, like the tracheal stents U-M physicians and engineers created on U-M 3-D printers and implanted in the chests of three infants, saving their lives.
"They include the U-M faculty talent, who, as we learned last month from Vice President for Research Jack Hu, made us the top public university in the nation for research expenditures."
Earlier in the day, the White House released initial details of the president's federal budget proposal.
That proposal includes deep cuts in the budgets of agencies responsible for federal research funding and other programs such as the National Institutes of Health (20 percent cut), Health and Human Services (16 percent cut) and the Environmental Protection Agency (31 percent cut).
The plan also eliminates funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Hu said the proposed budget proposes deep cuts for research and education, and would have serious consequences on the nation's research enterprise.
"The University of Michigan stands ready to work with the administration and Congress to ensure that critical investments in higher education and research are made to ensure our short-term and long-term success as a leader in discovery and innovation."
Aaron Dworkin, dean of the School of Music, Theater & Dance, said in a message to the school's faculty, staff, students and alumni that he was dismayed by the recommendation to completely eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
"In a country and time that is fractured by partisan dissent, the arts unite audiences in shared experiences, encourage civil discourse and engagement, thrive on collaboration, and celebrate diverse perspectives," Dworkin said.
"Public funding of these agencies demonstrates our commitment as a nation to supporting the research, publications, performances and exhibits that teach us to understand and embrace the diversity of human culture. We need the NEH and NEA now more than ever," said Peggy McCracken, faculty director of U-M's Humanities Collaboratory.
"We intend to work closely with the members of the Michigan congressional delegation and monitor the many changes we are likely to see in the weeks and months ahead as this proposal moves through the budget process. I am confident that our colleagues at institutions around the country will be doing the same," Schlissel said.