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Yesterday, House Republicans unveiled their long-anticipated tax reform bill. Below are the most noteworthy provisions that relate to higher education.

  • Eliminates the Student Loan Interest Deduction, and the exclusions from income for qualified tuition reductions and employer-provided educational assistance
  • Consolidates three existing higher education tax credits—the American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, and Hope Scholarship Credit—into an “enhanced AOTC” which would hurt part-time students
  • Retains the deduction for charitable giving but doubles the standard deduction, which would result in significantly fewer taxpayers choosing to itemize their deductions, and thus could cause a drop in charitable giving
  • Imposes a 1.4 percent excise tax on private university endowments for funds exceeding $100,000 per student

Our associations have issued statements expressing serious concerns about how various provisions would be harmful for higher education (NACUBO, APLU, AAU).

The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to mark up the tax bill beginning next Monday. The Senate Finance Committee has announced that they are planning to introduce their own proposal as early as next week. OGR has engaged the Illinois delegation on this issue and will continue to do so as things develop.


U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05), who received his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Urbana-Champaign in 1977, recently delivered the keynote speech at the College of Veterinary Medicine's 98th annual Fall Conference, which was attended by approximately 500 veterinarians and students. Upon an introduction by Dean Peter Constable, Rep. Schrader devoted his remarks to describing how his veterinary degree has given him a strong foundation for public service, and helped him in working with others who hold opposing points of view.


Prior to delivering his speech, Rep. Schrader had a chance to tour the College of Veterinary Medicine and see the changes it has undergone over the past 40 years. He stopped by the iFLEX Learning Commons, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and the Clinical Skills Learning Center, among other sites.

Krannert Center Celebrates its Anniversary in DC

The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at Urbana-Champaign held a lunch reception at the Library of Congress to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The event provided an opportunity for congressional staff and alumni in the DC area to learn more about some of the center's achievements and impacts over the past half century. Speakers included the director of the Krannert Center, the co-directors of the Lyric Theater at Illinois, and the president of the John F. Kennedy Center.

Urbana ACES Professor Provides Expert Testimony

Steve Moose, a professor of maize breeding and genetics in Urbana-Champaign's Department of Crop Sciences, served as a witness before the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology in a hearing that focused on the importance of agricultural research. His remarks touched on agriculture research efforts at the federal, state and local government levels; the extent to which federally funded researchers at universities and other research institutions are partnering with the private sector to advance agricultural research; and the value of agricultural research and implications for the nation and world.

Urbana Spin-Off Co-Founder Participates in Hill Briefings
 Photo Courtesy: The Science Coalition

The co-founder and president of Network Perception—an Urbana-Champaign spin-off whose software illuminates firewall risks in complex computer networks—recently participated in congressional briefings which featured research-entrepreneurs and CEOs of companies that spun out of federally funded university research. Rob Berthier's company was one of the 100-plus companies that were highlighted in the third edition of The Science Coalition’s Sparking Economic Growth report this past spring because of the federal funding that ultimately led to its creation.


Thank you,

OGR Federal Relations

Paul Weinberger and Melissa Haas