THE WHITE HOUSE
April 27, 1997
I am pleased to transmit the National Science and Technology Council
(NSTC) report, Renewing the Federal Government-University Research Partnership
for the 21st Century. A multi-agency task force developed
the report under the auspices of the NSTC Committee on Science. The NSTC
review of the Federal-government-university research partnership, conducted
under Presidential Review Directive - 4, illustrates the Administrationís
commitment to universities.
The goals of the NSTC review were examine the underlying principles
of the partnership, promote cost-effective university-based research, and
ensure fair allocation of research costs, all while maintaining appropriate
accountability for expenditure of public funds. A special emphasis was
placed on strengthening the linkage between research and education. The
review found that the partnership between the Federal government and universities
in research and associated educational activities continues to prove vital
and exceptionally productive. The partnership continues to promote the
discovery of knowledge, stimulate technological innovation, improve the
quality of life, educate the next generation of scientists and engineers,
and contribute to Americaís economic prosperity. The recommendations included
in this report will help strengthen the partnership and foster its continued
vitality into the 21st century.
The first recommendation commits the NSTC to
the development of a statement of principles of the partnership to improve
mutual understanding among the stakeholders and strengthen the effectiveness
of the partnership. As a first step, the NSTC is issuing a proposed
set of principles that will be refined over the next year through discussion
among stakeholders, including the Congress, the university community, and
professional societies. Some of these discussions will be organized through
the NSTC, but I also urge independent discussion in the university community.
The principles set forth in this document can fundamentally shape our thinking
and our actions with respect to the government-university partnership.
I urge all stakeholders to become involved in the discussion and will work
to ensure that the proposed principles receive thorough and fair consideration.
A second set of recommendations addresses a central and unique role
of universities: the education and training of the next generation of scientists
and engineers. Government policies and practices must recognize the dual
roles of both graduate and undergraduate students as both researchers who
contribute to the national research enterprise and as students who gain
experience as part of their training. I am committed to pursuing the necessary
changes in Federal rules and regulations to bring our policies into better
accord with practice in this area and urge universities to do the same.
The NSTC is also committed to a set of actions outlined in the report
that will help make the partnership more effective and efficient in areas
identified by the review. I will ensure that all follow-up activities are
taken up expeditiously.
Finally, I will establish an NSTC standing interagency working group
under the auspices of the Committee on Science that is dedicated to continuing
review and assessment of the government-university partnership.
The task force chair and working group are commended for their efforts
in the development of this report.
Assistant to the President
for Science and Technology