Ohio State University President Gordon Gee spent part of last week on Capitol Hill talking to lawmakers about the impact of mandatory budget cuts on the university’s research system.
Gee said he felt the university was well-prepared for the cuts and worked to cushion itself from the blow, though they will still have an impact on the university.
“We have built a glider to get over this, at the very least we are building a parachute,” he said. “But I refuse to jump off the cliff without a parachute.”
The university spent about $934 on research during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012. About $470 million of that came from the federal government.
The university recently shifted its prediction of the cuts’ impact, estimating that it’ll have about a $13 million impact for the remainder of this fiscal year and $14 million next year. That’s far lower than the original anticipated hit, which would’ve ranged anywhere from $15 million and $80 million this year, Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research.
But it still has an impact, said Gee, who met with lawmakers including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to talk about the cuts’ impact.
He said the research done at universities is an engine that powers the economy, and the economy will need university-based research in order to recover.
“I think we can get everyone to agree that research is the vital link to continue to create the American dream,” he said.