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Full message from APLU President, Mark Becker:

Emerging from the pandemic over the past year has presented an array of challenges and opportunities for the public research university community. Yet for all the challenges we have faced, moments such as this one present opportunities for transformational change. As a membership organization, APLU’s role is working with our membership to do exactly that: driving equitable student success; fostering research and innovation to meet societal needs, and deepening community, economic, and international engagement to benefit all.

APLU made progress in 2022 on many issues, including to:

  • Shape and advance the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which authorizes hundreds of billions of dollars in new investment in the U.S. research enterprise.
  • Secure investments impacting public research universities and their students in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Make the case to policymakers for added investments in college access and completion while continuing its longstanding advocacy for providing permanent legal status and a path to citizenship for Dreamers.
  • Co-lead the Student Experience Project and release a years-long study examining how impactful interventions that are easy to implement can boost students’ academic success and sense of belonging.
  • Co-lead the Aspire Alliance, advancing its work to cultivate a more diverse and inclusive STEM facultyβ€”engaging 150 institutions throughout the Alliance and nearly 2,000 participants.
  • Identify successful models of leveraging university research and development through technology transfer, technical services, and skill development to transition research and development to small and medium-sized manufacturers.

This year also marked a change in leadership for APLU as Peter McPherson completed his remarkable 16-year tenure as president. His leadership enabled APLU to reach new heights. I was honored to be chosen as Peter’s successor. In partnership with the terrific APLU team, I look forward to building on the amazing work happening at APLU while creating new ways for APLU to deliver for our members.

Although 2022 was an extremely busy year, we know the year ahead promises a host of new challenges and opportunities. A new Congress will reshape the policy landscape in Washington, and ensuring lawmakers deliver increased investments to fund the goals of the CHIPS and Science Act and make continued progress in boosting Pell to enhance college access and affordability are critical to not just APLU institutions and students, but also U.S. global leadership.

The pandemic has irreversibly changed the demands facing public higher education, and we must collectively rise to the challenge at a time when our work is more needed than ever before. Every APLU member is a powerful force dedicated to changing and improving lives. But togetherβ€”learning, sharing, innovating, and advocating through APLUβ€”our public and land-grant universities are an unstoppable force for good.

Gregory Thornton
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