As Congress works to complete its business this year, I want to provide an update on a few issues that we are tracking at the federal level. There is obviously a great deal of uncertainty around all of this at the moment, so we don’t have a lot of new information to share. But we do want to let the campus know that we are monitoring developments and remain in close communication on these matters with our supportive congressional delegation and our national higher-education associations.

First, many of you have communicated with Provost Miranda and me about your concerns related to the provisions in the tax bill on taxing graduate tuition. Late last week. the Senate passed its version of the tax bill, which does not contain these provisions. This is a positive step, putting the Senate-passed bill in conflict with the House version. The next step in the process is for the House and Senate to conference the two competing bills, a process that began this week. This issue will need to be worked out as they conference on the final bill. The tax proposals also contain several other provisions that are potentially harmful to higher education that we are actively opposing by working with our Congressional delegation and our national organizations such as APLU, which effectively amplifies our voice by joining it with the higher education community nationwide.

Second, we are also following and engaging on the completion of the federal funding process for Fiscal Year 2018. Working with our delegation, we are advocating for adequate funding for financial aid and research programs on behalf of our students and faculty. Like the tax bills, these issues must also be negotiated in a final deal, likely early next year.

Third, we continue to work with our delegation in support of a legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. There is growing pressure to find a resolution for this issue, possibly in the final spending bill, and this remains a high priority for the University and our Board of Governors.

Finally, our Office of International Affairs continues to monitor the evolving legal situation around the federal travel ban and is working to assist potentially impacted international students and populations as needed in navigating the new regulations.

Each of these issues are challenging and the outcomes remain uncertain. Our leadership and federal relations team are following these developments closely, and we will provide more information as it becomes available.



Dr. Tony Frank