Click here to see Storified account of the forum

West Virginia University joins an elite list of universities hosting forums around the country to gather feedback on a report by the National Research Council on keeping America’s research universities competitive.

The forum, one of only nine being held nationally, will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 26 at the Museum Education Center (formerly the Erickson Alumni Center) on Fine Arts Drive. It will bring together leaders in the compilation of the Council’s report last year, “Research Universities and the Future of America,” which contains 10 recommendations for ensuring that America’s research universities remain globally competitive. (The report is available at )

WVU President Jim Clements will welcome the audience comprising representatives from academe, government and industry.

“Having this forum at WVU provides our community a special opportunity to help guide the future of higher education, especially at research universities like ours,” Clements said. “This is a chance to make an impact on the national level.”

The forum will begin with presentations from WVU alum and Board of Governors member Charles Vest, president emeritus of MIT and president of the National Academy of Engineering; Peter Henderson, director of the National Research Council’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce; and Lee Todd, former president of the University of Kentucky and a member of the commission which produced the report.

After the presentation of the report, a moderated discussion will be held to gather responses to the report.

Also attending will be Howard Gobstein, executive vice president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and Matt Owens, vice president for federal relations of the Association of American Universities.

Similar forums have been or are scheduled for such institutions as Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt University, University of Arizona and University of Michigan.

To RSVP, call 304-293-0784 or email; however, walk-ins are welcome.

Ten recommendations from “Research Universities and the Future of America”

  • The federal government “should adopt stable and effective policies, practices and funding for university-performed R&D and graduate education so that the nation will have a stream of new knowledge and educated people to power our future, helping us meet national goals and ensure prosperity and security.”
  • States should “provide greater autonomy for public research universities so that these institutions may leverage local and regional strengths to compete strategically and respond with agility to new opportunities. At the same time, restore state appropriations for higher education, including graduate education and research, to levels that allow public research universities to operate at world-class levels.”
  • “Strengthen the business role in the research partnership, facilitating the transfer of knowledge, ideas, and technology to society and accelerate ‘time to innovation’ in order to achieve our national goals.”
  • “Increase university cost-effectiveness and productivity in order to provide a greater return on investment for taxpayers, philanthropists, corporations, foundations, and other research sponsors.”
  • “Create a ‘Strategic Investment Program’ that funds initiatives at research universities critical to advancing education and research in areas of key national priority.”
  • “The federal government and other research sponsors should strive to cover the full costs of research projects and other activities they procure from research universities in a consistent and transparent manner.”
  • “Reduce or eliminate regulations that increase administrative costs, impede research productivity, and deflect creative energy without substantially improving the research environment.”
  • “Improve the capacity of graduate programs to attract talented students by addressing issues such as attrition rates, time to degree, funding, and alignment with both student career opportunities and national interests.”
  • “Secure for the United States the full benefits of education for all Americans, including women and underrepresented minorities, in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.”
  • “Ensure that the United States will continue to benefit strongly from the participation of international students and scholars in our research enterprise.”



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