• AASCU Joins Proposal for Expanded Infrastructure Program

    AASCU has been working with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to develop a joint proposal to encourage Congress to expand infrastructure funding to all public four-year colleges and universities. 

    In its March 31, 2021, infrastructure blueprint, The American Jobs Plan, the Biden administration proposed $12 billion in funding for community college infrastructure to modernize facilities and expand access to higher education. While supporting the initiative to provide resources to community colleges, the three associations emphasize that the public four-year sector is also in need of additional investments to expand access for underserved communities. 

    The joint proposal builds on the administration’s plan by seeking to secure additional funds for expanding the plan to public four-year institutions. The basic foundation of the proposal is adapted and modified language from the former Construction, Reconstruction, and Renovation of Academic Facilities title of the 1986 Higher Education Act Reauthorization. The proposal would focus the funding to those institutions who serve high populations of low-income students, as defined by Pell Grant eligibility.

    The three associations are currently working with various offices in Congress to have the proposal introduced as a bill that may then be wrapped into an anticipated budget reconciliation bill later this year. The administration and leading GOP senators have already coalesced around a more modest bipartisan infrastructure bill, which could move under “regular order” fairly soon. It is widely expected that the administration and congressional Democrats will then package other elements of The American Jobs Plan into a reconciliation bill that can pass the Senate with a simple majority through budget reconciliation.