A Brief Update Regarding the Federal Budget Proposal

​​​​​​​Amy Gutmann, President
Vincent Price, Provost
Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President
​​​​​​​Larry Jameson, Executive Vice President, UPHS and Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine

Like many in the higher education community, we are concerned about the initial budget proposal released last week by the Trump Administration, which proposes to slash or eliminate federal support for scientific research, the arts, humanities, our environment and education (to name only some of the major areas that are threatened).  

This is just the beginning of the budget negotiation process.  As that process plays out, please know that Penn’s Office of Government and Community Affairs is actively advancing Penn’s interests in federal policy discussions through direct meetings with members and staff from our local Congressional delegation and through leadership positions in our nonpartisan advocacy organizations, including AAU, COFHE, NAICU, the Science Coalition, and United for Medical Research.  OGCA personnel are available for consultation with Penn constituencies to assure an understanding of the process and the current challenges at the federal level.

As we work to support the core values of Penn and American higher education, we wanted to share with you several messages regarding the proposed budget, which may help inform you on the issue.  Pasted below are a very thoughtful note from SAS Dean Steve Fluharty regarding the proposed cuts to the Humanities; a link to the National Humanities Alliance statement on the budget; a link to a message from AAU President Mary Sue Coleman; and a link to the statement from United for Medical Research.

From: SAS Dean's Office 
Date: March 16, 2017 at 1:46:31 PM EDT
To: SAS Dean's Office 
Subject: Proposed Elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities
To: SAS Humanities Faculty
From: Steven J. Fluharty, Dean
          Jeffrey Kallberg, Associate Dean for Arts and Letters
President Trump’s newly-released proposed budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as several other federal agencies, centers, and programs that fund arts, culture, and international education initiatives. Most of us in the Penn humanities community have benefited either directly or indirectly from the support of the NEH. The School of Arts and Sciences affirms its unwavering support for the NEH mission, and indeed of the enduring value of the humanities that form part of the School’s own mission.
In anticipation of this announcement by the Trump administration, SAS has already been discussing strategies to combat the closing of the NEH (and the National Endowment for the Arts, and elimination of Title VI funding) with Penn’s governmental affairs office in Washington, DC, and we will ramp up our efforts in the coming weeks. Penn is also an institutional member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), a leading Washington-based coalition that will be undertaking its own advocacy efforts.
If you are concerned about the proposed elimination of the NEH, please communicate with your members of Congress to let them know your opinions.  The NHA link below is a very easy way to accomplish this. 
Nothing better captures the importance of the NEH to our basic educational values than the act of Congress that created it some half-century ago.  If you haven’t read this, we urge you to do so:  https://www.neh.gov/about/history/national-foundation-arts-and-humanities-act-1965-pl-89-209

Information from National Humanities Alliance:

Statement from AAU President Mary Sue Coleman:

Statement from United for Medical Research: