March Friends of UA

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Dear Friend of UA, It has been a busy few weeks at the University of Arizona! Those of you who are in town may have seen the Tucson Festival of Books this past weekend. I hope you were able to visit and see some of the amazing authors and speakers who joined us from around the world. We also hosted Mary Robinson, former (and first woman) president of Ireland earlier in the week as part of the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice.

April 1, 2015

 
 

 

Dear Friend of UA,

 

It has been a busy couple of months at the University of Arizona! Those of you who are in town may have noticed the Tucson Festival of Books at the beginning of March. I hope you were able to visit and see some of the amazing authors and speakers who joined us from around the world. We also hosted Mary Robinson, former (and first woman) president of Ireland as part of the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice.

 

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart spoke with AZPM's Vanessa Barchfield about how the University will manage $30 million budget cut.

I spoke with Arizona Public Media about what state budget cuts mean for the UA. Click the image above to watch a clip.

 

 

Just last week, four preeminent brain science scholars (including three Nobel laureates) visited the UA to help celebrate three important milestones: the 25th anniversary of the Arizona Research Laboratories Division of Neural Systems and Aging, the 10th anniversary of the start of discussions about creating the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute in Tucson, and the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior. As we pursue new opportunities in neuroscience research as one of the four areas of translational medicine excellence targeted in the Never Settle plan, these events are important reminders of the history that we are building upon and the potential that it holds for the UA and for the state of Arizona.

 

As I have written about in my blog several times over the past year, the capacity for research universities to elevate the quality of life here in the U.S. and around the world through research like that of our neuroscience faculty is unique. This month’s insert shares several examples of federally funded research programs here at the UA and the real-world impact that they are creating. This work is a critical part of the UA’s mission and one of the ways that we are achieving its potential as a super land-grant university.

 

Unfortunately, because of the federal budget policy known as sequestration, research funding from key agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) has declined. Compounding the issue, as NIH director Dr. Francis Collins put it recently, current funding trends and the threat to U.S. global leadership in biomedical research could turn potential future scientists away from vital fields of inquiry. As a result, the excellence here at the UA and at our peer institutions around the country is in jeopardy.

 

The future of Arizona and the nation as a whole is, as I have argued many times, directly tied to our success in research innovation. The policy will continue to damage that future as it extinguishes funding for vital research in the bioscience and health sciences, space sciences, defense, and other fields. As a policy, sequestration draws a false equivalence across the federal budget when we should be able to expect that our legislators will make decisions based on strategic and value-based national priorities. The impact is particularly damaging because our global competitors are not standing still while we remain mired in indecision in the face of difficult choices. Senator John McCain visited the UA campus for a conversation this week and spoke eloquently about the need to prevent the repeat of sequestration for fiscal year 2016. With his leadership in the Senate, I am encouraged that we will make progress toward future support for research funding. I have written about the issue further in a recent blog post and I encourage you to read it and help share the message about the important role that the UA and other innovative research universities have in creating a bright future for all of us.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ann Weaver Hart
President
University of Arizona

 

 

 
 

 

If you have questions or comments about this email, please send them to president@email.arizona.edu

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