Within the Academic Programs portion of this account, the Committee recommends $178,950,000 an increase of $35,250,000 to the budget request.
The Committee has provided $82,100,000 for NASA's minority university research and education activities, the same as the budget request. The Committee directs that the Minority University Research and Education Program be retained as a discrete budget line in future budgets and that the Minority University Research and Education Division be continued within the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs. The Committee has serious concerns that too few students are pursuing advanced degree in aerospace science and engineering, with a result that the Nation's future in the utilization and exploration of space will be compromised. The Committee recognizes that for advanced education to be effective, it must be pursued in universities with active research programs. NASA, with its longstanding support of university-based research, is in a unique position to ensure that the university research base, and the educational opportunities that accompany it, are sufficient to the Nation's needs. Accordingly, NASA is directed, in cooperation with the Nation's leading research universities, to develop a comprehensive plan and implementation strategy that will result in an increase in the number of students pursuing advanced degrees in the presence of vibrant university research efforts. The plan should include means to increase the number of university research and educational groups, to increase the number of new, young faculty; to build cooperative relationships between universities and NASA centers; and means for attracting and supporting students. The plan should be submitted to the Committee by March 15, 2003 and will serve as the basis for consideration of the fiscal year 2004 NASA budget.
The Committee encourages NASA to develop closer working relationships with universities in regions adjacent to national laboratories. National laboratories have assets and capabilities that are important to graduate student support and collaborations with regional universities.
The Committee recommends the following adjustments to the budget request:
1. An increase of $250,000 for Niagara University for science, engineering and math programs.
2. An increase of $1,200,000 for the NASA Educator Resource Center at South East Missouri State University.
3. An increase of $1,050,000 for the Carl Sagan Discovery Science Center at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center to implement the educational programming for this science learning project.
4. An increase of $2,500,000 for the JASON Foundation.
5. An increase of $4,000,000 for continuation of programs at the American Museum of Natural History.
6. An increase of $1,000,000 to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for an Educational Training Center.
7. An increase of $1,000,000 for academic and infrastructure needs at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.
8. An increase of $1,000,000 for the Ohio View Consortium.
9. An increase of $3,000,000 for the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology initiative.
10. An increase of $2,500,000 to the Educational Advancement Alliance to support the Alliance's math, science, and technology enrichment program.
11. An increase of $5,000,000 for the National Space Grant College and Fellowship program. The funding level recommended by the Committee is $24,100,000, the same as the fiscal year 2002 appropriation. By this action, the Committee has funded the core programs of the 52 consortia, including some modest upgrades. NASA is encouraged to use these consortia to continue workforce development initiative to attract and retain educated, skilled diverse employees for ANSA and aerospace industries. It is imperative that NASA encourage additional young people to pursue careers in science and engineering and these consortia are on the front lines for this effort.
12. An increase of $500,000 for Science, Engineering, Math and Aerospace Academy programs at Central Arizona College.
13. An increase of $2,000,000 for the Center for Science and Math at the University of Redlands.
14. An increase of $1,000,000 for the Chabot Space and Science Center for math and science education.
15. An increase of $2,000,000 for the City College of New York to establish a community-based science and technology education facility.
16. An increase of $500,000 for Science, Engineering, Math and Aerospace Academy programs at Livingstone College.
17. An increase of $550,000 for the Patriots Technology Training Center in Seat Pleasant, Maryland.
18. An increase of $5,400,000 for the EPSCoR program for a total funding level of $10,000,000, the same as fiscal year 2002.
19. An increase of $800,000 for Science, Engineering, Math, and Aeronautics Academy in Miami, Florida.