Published: July 31, 2013

University leaders call on Washington to close 'innovation deficit'

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Communications and Brand Strategy,

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon was among 165 university presidents and chancellors from across the nation to sign an open letter to Congress and President Obama urging them to restore investments in research and education.

In the letter published today in the influential Washington D.C. publication Politico, the national education leaders said that closing what they call the “innovation deficit” – the widening gap between needed and actual investments in research and education – must be a national imperative.

“MSU has always focused on supporting the prosperity of our citizenry through the discovery of knowledge and its application to practical needs,” Simon said. “It is imperative that all of our universities maintain their levels of excellence by continued investment in research and education.”

Simon and the other presidents and chancellors said that investments in those areas create new technologies that power the nation’s economy, create jobs and ensure the United States maintains its role as a global leader.

Over the past two decades China, Singapore and South Korea have dramatically increased their investments in research and higher education.

The letter is published just as Congress is facing a number of critical issues, including annual funding bills, the debt limit and measures to eliminate or modify across-the-board spending cuts brought about by sequestration.

The universities represented in the letter are all members of either the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities or both. MSU is a member of both.

To view the letter and for more information, visit


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