Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld, an ex officio member of the MIT Corporation, has given a boost to the efforts of MIT President Charles M. Vest and other university presidents to maintain federal funding for university research.
The governor, joined by the governors of the nation's 10 most populous states and six other state executives, called on Congress to sustain the funding in a letter to US senators and representatives.
"We believe that support for university research ought to remain a priority of the federal government," the governors wrote. "Federally sponsored research translates directly into the knowledge that is now-and will be all the more so in the coming Information Age-the most important form of capital and the primary source of our well-being and economic strength."
Gov. Weld, who has been working on the issue with Dr. Vest and other Massachusetts university presidents, drafted the letter to Congress. At the National Governor's Association meeting in July, he urged both Democrat and Republican governors to sign on to help maintain funding for university research as a federal priority.
"Because the future has no political constituency, we urge you to continue investing in that future, and to sustain federal funding for university research, a proven investment that is essential to both our economic competitiveness and quality of life," the governors wrote.
"University research has improved daily life and saved lives.
"Americans rest easier knowing that advances in technology make our military the world's most technologically sophisticated.
"Federally aided university research has also had a broad economic impact. Eighty percent of the computer industry's revenues come from products that did not even exist two years ago, and these are often products that were born in university laboratories."
In addition to Gov. Weld, governors joining the bipartisan effort were:George Bush (Texas), George Pataki (New York), Tom Ridge (Pennsylvania), Lawton Chiles (Florida), George Voinovich (Ohio), Jim Hunt (North Carolina), John Engler (Michigan), Christine Whitman (New Jersey), Zell Miller (Georgia), Angus King (Maine), Pete Wilson (California), Jim Edgar (Illinois), Mel Carnahan (Missouri), John Kitzhaber (Oregon), John Rowland (Connecticut) and Tony Knowles (Alaska).
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 16, 1995.