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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over-reliance on strictly economic justifications has already begun to hurt the quality and range of education at every level of American life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For un-subscribe please check the mail footer.