FOOTNOTES December 2000
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Public Affairs Update

  • Norwood Elected President of COSSA . . . . Janet Norwood, former U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner, was elected incoming President of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) by the Board of Directors on December 3. She succeeds criminologist Al Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University who remains on the Board. Norwood is trained in economics and is a past President of the American Statistical Association. She currently chairs the National Research Council’s Committee on National Statistics Panel to Evaluate the 2000 Census.

  • Final 2001 Budget Brings NIH Awaited Increase . . . . On December 15, Congress finished its work on the 2001 budget, passing an omnibus spending bill that included the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The appropriation for NIH is $20.313 billion, a $2.5 billion (14.2 percent) increase. The National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities was launched with $130.2 million, some of which was previously located in the Office of Minority Health. With passage of a final spending bill that was long-awaited, the NIH budget is an important victory for advocates (including ASA) of substantial increases. Sociologists with health and well-being interests should investigate NIH funding opportunities.

  • Meanwhile NEH Uses Internet for Application Outreach . . . . Joining the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) now has its application guidelines on-line. In December, the NEH announced a one-stop application guide for all NEH grant programs. See http://www.neh.gov/grants/onebook.html.

  • ACE Data Shows Need for Increased International Education . . . . In mid-November, the American Council on Education (ACE) released a public opinion survey, student survey, and Ford Foundation-funded report, Internationalization of U.S. Higher Education: Preliminary Status Report 2000, that points to the need for increased participation in international education. Citing public support for foreign language training, international skills and knowledge, and international experiences, ACE President Stanley O. Ikenberry calls the environment positive for change. Enrollments in foreign language have declined from 16 percent in the 1960s to 8 percent currently; foreign language requirements in four-year institutions decreased from 34 percent in 1965 to 20 percent in 1995. See http://www.acenet.edu/programs/international/intl_research.cfm.

  • Speaking of International, Foreign Students in U.S. Increase . . . . The Institute of International Education released its annual report showing a five percent increase in foreign student enrollment in 1999-2000 for the third straight year. With a record level of 514,723 foreign students in postsecondary education, more than half (54 percent) are from Asia, though in 1999-2000 the economic downturn in several Asian countries may have caused a lower enrollments (from Indonesia down seven percent to Malaysia down 22 percent). For further information, including on how to order the full report, see http://www.opendoorsweb.org.