Syracuse UniversityOffice of Government and Community Relations

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Federal Relations

The Office of Government and Community Relations (GCR) works closely with our federal representatives, executive offices, agencies and national associations to protect student aid, advance the teaching and research mission of the University, and take action on issues and initiatives important to the University and our partners.  All three branches of the federal government influence higher education. Congress passes the laws that fund and regulate education and research, agencies within the executive branch administer the programs that impact our students, and the Supreme Court makes decisions affect many aspects of higher education.

The Office of Government and Community Relations:

  • routinely monitors the federal budget process so we can advocate for financial aid, education, science, and research;
  • works closely with faculty and campus administrative offices to develop relationships with federal officials and agencies important to the mission of the University;
  • advises University officials on the federal policies and programs that impact our daily operations, and advocate, with our federal delegates, for issues important to the University;
  • represents the University in our relationships with higher education associations.

For additional information, or if there is a federal issue that you believe affects the University please contact our office at 315-443-3919.

Current Federal Issues and Legislation

Higher Education Act:  Provides the regulatory framework for student financial aid and the federal regulations that impact day to day operations and reporting requirements. It is scheduled to be taken up in Spring 2014.

Elementary & Secondary Education Act:  Also known as “No Child Left Behind,” this sweeping education law funds much of K-12 education, which is critical in its role in preparing students for higher education. Its goal is to eliminate the performance gap between privileged and less wealthy students by improving, among other things, teacher performance and school leadership through teacher education programs.

America COMPETES Act:  Up for reauthorization, this Act would strengthen American competitiveness through investments in science, innovation, and education. SU supports its focus on sustained, dedicated funding for science and research to preserve our nation’s innovation capabilities.

National Defense Authorization Act:  SU has a strong interdisciplinary approach to protecting our national security and serving our military and returning veterans. This comprehensive legislation enacts the budget authority of the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. It serves as a foundation for research and as a basis for training programs. 

Affiliations and Associations

The American Council on Education (ACE): ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions. ACE seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. Founded in 1918, its members include approximately 1,800 accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities and higher education-related associations, organizations, and corporations.

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU): NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education. Since 1976, the association has represented private colleges and universities on policy issues with the federal government, such as those affecting student aid, taxation, and government regulation. With nearly 1,000 members nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States.

The Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. A key partner for us in Washington, the Coalition is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation and drive America’s global competitiveness.

Council on Government Relations: As a member of this organization we are invested in its mission to communicate at the federal level, the impact of proposed regulations on colleges and universities. COGR helps to develop policies and practices that fairly reflect the mutual interests and separate obligations of federal agencies and universities in research and graduate education.