Charles Vest, American Educator ( September 9, 1941 - )

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Looking ahead, I believe that the underlying importance of higher education, of science, of technology, of research and scholarship to our quality of life, to the strength of our economy, to our security in many dimensions will continue to be the most important message.~Charles Vest

Life Education Strength

For much of this decade, both Congressional and administration budget projections showed a decline in science and technology accounts of between 20 and 30 percent in real dollars. The real impact to date has been far less severe.~Charles Vest

Technology Science Impact

We will work with industrial or Dept. Of Defence sponsorship as long as we keep our principals of openness firm we're proud to work with the military, and they respect that in turn.~Charles Vest

Work Respect Proud

Agency by agency, we frequently have lost a bit of ground, at least to inflation-but had it not been for the efforts we've made to educate people about the importance of science, technology and advanced education, those predictions very well might have come true.~Charles Vest

Education Technology

Given the best of all possible worlds, I would make a few changes. I would place emphasis on increasing the amount of funding that goes into programs like Pell Grants, that purely and simply award funds to students who really cannot afford full tuition.~Charles Vest

Best Changes Place

I believe that our office has clearly been the leader in building coalitions, in getting other universities across the contrary to interact more effectively with the government and particularly the Congress.~Charles Vest

Leader Government Believe

I would also certainly continue to keep loan repayment interest rates as low as possible. And I would spread the financial aid a little less thinly across all income brackets.~Charles Vest

Financial Loan Interest

Literally from the moment I came in the door of MIT, it was very clear that a highly productive 40-year partnership between U.S. research universities and the federal government was badly eroding.~Charles Vest

Moment Government Door

Nonetheless, the research budgets of the Department of Defense are under enormous stress-and they are extremely important because they support more than 40 percent of all federal funding for engineering schools across the country. So the threat was and is real.~Charles Vest

Support Engineering

Of course, tax revenues have ended up being substantially higher than they were at the time these dire projections were made, and we are very close now to having a balanced budget. All that has been very helpful.~Charles Vest

Time Tax Budget

On the other hand, it is not fair to say that changes in federal policy have caused our tuition to rise faster. Every economic argument imaginable would indicate that we should raise tuition at a faster rate than we do.~Charles Vest

Changes Rise Argument

Our goal has been to more effectively promote the value of publicly-supported research at our universities, both to the Congress and to the general public.~Charles Vest

Goal Value Research

Over-reliance on strictly economic justifications has already begun to hurt the quality and range of education at every level of American life.~Charles Vest

Life Education Hurt

The Science Coalition, which grew out of an initial concept at Harvard and at MIT, has now grown to an informal group of about 60 research universities.~Charles Vest

Science Research Group

The term 'cost shifting,' as I use it, refers to those items in a university's budget that used to be reimbursed by the federal government but are no longer paid for by them.~Charles Vest

Government Budget Cost

The thing that we at MIT must understand is the amount of real damage that is being done to us in the fine structure of how research funds are expended.~Charles Vest

Research Real Done

There is no question that we are in a period in which we are going to have to use those sources to fund about 35 million dollars a year that used to be paid for by the federal government.~Charles Vest

Government Question Year

We are trying to make up these other elements by gaining cost efficiencies through our reengineering process and through overt fund-raising activities to better support graduate education.~Charles Vest

Education Support Trying

We have been restraining the growth of the cost of education-that is, tuition, room and board-to be within approximately one and a half percentage points of the consumer price index.~Charles Vest

Growth Within Price