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USC delegation meets with congressional leaders

USC Delegation Meets With Congressional Leaders
USC president C. L. Max Nikias stands next to U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis from California's 41st district, along with other members of a delegation from USC.

A delegation of administrators and trustees led by USC President C. L. Max Nikias met with congressional leaders March 15 to discuss the importance of federal research funding in education, innovation and job creation.

The annual visit came at a critical time this year as policymakers are searching for budget cuts in both current and future fiscal cycles.

USC representatives met with Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Sen. Charles Schumer, chair of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon and several other members of California’s congressional delegation.

The visit also included meetings with Ron Somers, president of the U.S.-India Council; Jim Leach, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and G. Wayne Clough, president of the Smithsonian Institution.

“We received a wonderful reception on Capitol Hill and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the incredible impact that USC’s faculty are having on our nation’s intellectual and cultural and economic development,” Nikias said.

“It says something about our national commitment to excellence that at a time of deep concern about federal expenses, leaders on both sides of the aisle were eager to welcome our delegation and hear about the many ways that research funding helps universities to promote technical and intellectual progress,” said Tom Sayles, vice president of USC Government and Civic Engagement.

The delegation consisted of three groups organized around key themes.

Provost Elizabeth Garrett led a group focused on global initiatives and the humanities. The schedule included a meeting with Somers of the U.S.-India Council to discuss USC’s long-standing ties with India. Nikias and a group of administrators, deans and trustees recently concluded a visit to India that strengthened relationships with Indian leaders in higher education, politics and business.

The global initiatives and humanities group also met with Leach and Clough, leaders of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian, respectively, and with California representatives Karen Bass, Howard Berman and Ed Royce.

A group led by Nikias and Edward P. Roski, Jr., chairman of the USC Board of Trustees, focused on research excellence. Representatives of the group met with Boehner, Reid, Pelosi and Schumer, stressing USC federally funded projects that are contributing to national priorities and driving economic growth, such as the Institute for Creative Technologies, the new Los Angeles Basin Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Engineering Research Center for Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems. They also discussed the importance of Pell grants for students.

The research excellence group also met with California representatives Bass, McKeon, Adam Schiff, David Dreier and Jerry Lewis.

The third group, led by Sayles, focused on education and job creation. Members met with California representatives Bass, Lucille Roybal-Allard, John Campbell, Laura Richardson ’98 and staff members from the office of Mary Bono Mack ’84, as well as Dean Heller ’85, a representative from Nevada.

Group members stressed USC’s contribution to the community. Through federally funded programs, the university identifies and educates potential college-bound students in underserved communities, helps provide child care for more than 600 children under the age of 5, operates the Los Angeles Minority Business Enterprise Center and facilitates the transfer of technologies from the university to society through the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation.

The visit concluded with a reception on Capitol Hill hosted by USC’s Office of Federal Relations.

USC delegation meets with congressional leaders

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