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Dr. BENNETT. I would just say that I think the basic difficulties in which the universities now find themselves result from the fact that a majority of the Federal funds that flow into the universities are for academic science, although the nonscience component is rapidly increasing. Therefore, it was not just simply that there were certain bits of research that could no longer be continued when there was this rather sudden decrease in the annual rate of funding. The discovery was made at that time that the support of academic science had become so intimately entwined with all of the function of the university that all of the functions suffered as a result of this.
What I am really saying is that we had a system, the results of which have been excellent beyond any question by any criterion because American science is certainly the envy of and it is really the emulative model for all the rest of the world. But the system that evolved was one that functioned because there were very large increments of funds each year. When there was abrupt cessation of these annual increases, it became evident that we had a system that worked very well while the money was increasing but that it really didn't function as well when the money was not increasing.
And the suggestions that I have made point toward restructuring a system that will operate well but will be able to operate in times of budgetary restraint as well as in times of plenty.
There is a chart in the submission that I gave you that shows how abrupt this cessation was. Over a period of from 1955 to about 1966 the annual rate of increase of funds for academic science—it is on page 10-really averaged about 2272 percent. This suddenly in 1967 dropped to 6 percent and in 1968 to 1.7 percent. Now universities can't respond that quickly and that is why my suggestion was that there be a 3-year indicative plan. What has happened each year since these restraints were set up is there has been a feeling in the university that next year things will get better and each year, for a number of reasons, things have gotten tighter, either because of expenditure restrictions or lack of new obligational authority.
It seems to me that until there is some projection ahead so that the university can see what the situation will really be and quit hoping that each year we will return to the former system, that we are highly unlikely to get the kind of forward planning that is so necessary,
And I think that a 3-year projection at minimal levels would be a sort of minimum Federal guarantee of support so that any change would be an add-on if the economic situation improves. This would go a long way to making the university face up really to the need to restructure this system.
So from a purely budgetary viewpoint, I would hope that eventually there again would be moderate annual increases in this. I wouldn't say 15 percent, although that is the figure that is often given, but I would hope that for the near-term future that the increase would be at least enough to cover increase in real costs and maintain the existing effort at approximately its present level.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. Shannon, do you have any comment on that?
Dr. SHANNON. Yes, sir. I come out much at the same end but by a somewhat different reasoning process. I say there is no doubt in my mind that graduate education in this Nation must be restructured.
At the present time graduate education operates within a hit or miss system with little structured stability. The net mass of graduate education that proceeds in any given year is the result of separate budget decisions made by as many as 10 mission-oriented agencies. It flourishes or wanes depending upon the cumulative effect of these individual decisions, few of which directly reflect the needs of graduate education. I would say with the pressure of students in our colleges and in our graduate education system, we have the capability to develop a solid base of scientific competence for an increasingly technological society. Yet we have no means of appraising what our precise goals are. My feeling is that within the next year or two that it will become not only clear, but also necessary to be rather explicit about what these goals are. I think when such goals are established, then the budgets are derivative of these goals and also derivative of these same goals will be a rational plan for the use of funds that we wish to expend for one purpose as opposed to the other.
I believe it is impossible for the Congress or for the executive branch with its present mechanisms to do the type of system exploration of this very complex subject—that is, science and educationand derive hard arnswers that are realistic. A new type of capability must be developed and there must be a reallocation of the planning function.
For example, the Secretary of HUD said a week or so ago that it was interesting for him to note that in 1949 a national goal was set to provide good housing for all of the American citizens, and about 10 years later there was the commitment for an Apollo program. The latter went through. The former obviously did not. So that it becomes necessary, I think, to be much more explicit about what we strive, consider costs and translate these to operational programs. I say specifically translate our aspirations to goals and our goals to programs rather than slogans.
You have heard on the floor of Congress many times, and certainly in many statements from the executive branch, that a specific goal of the Nation is the right to good medical care for all citizens-a right rather than a privilege. You have also heard that decent housing is a right rather than a privilege. You have also heard that we are devising an educational system which will provide each citizen the opportunity to develop to the maximum of his intellectual capability. But these are slogans. These are not goals. They have not been analyzed either individually or in the aggregate to see precisely what the cost will be, what social mechanisms we must bring into play in order to achieve each of these goals. I am quite certain that they can't all be achieved at once, but I think it is the responsibility of the executive branch, and I would think also of the Congress, to look at the aggregate of these and other social goals and decide which ones are going to be given high priority in the allocation of resources.
Now, I don't visualize priorities as being a set of objectives amenable to simple linear scaling. But I do think objectives and goals must be looked at in a comparative way, and what Dr. Bennett and I both say is that there is no mechanism within Government today short of a nontechnically oriented policy staff in the Bureau of the Budget where these broad programs come together for study and resource determina
tion. Finally, the objectives on a year-to-year basis are spelled out explicitly in terms of dollars made available in each of the appropriations. So, while one can say that goal setting and resource allocation are very complex processes, we are performing these functions today but without any rationale, without a comparative assessment, and without any attempt to weigh the results against their long-term consequences to the Nation.
Mr. DADDARIO. One further question, Dr. Shannon. Your suggestion here is that as we look into this problem further and as we make recommendations, that we shoot for a goal, a timespan of that of the present administration, within which adjustments and changes can take place, and to give sufficient opportunity for these changes to come about in a rational way. I believe that to be an extremely good suggestion.
Mr. MoSHER. Mr. Chairman, there has been so much meat in today's testimony, I think it is going to take us some time to digest it.
In Dr. Bennett's testimony on page 19, as alternative A, where he proposes a Council of Advisers on Education and Science to be established by legislation, he said the members should be full-time Presidential appointees. Who would these people be? Where would you recruit them, what type of people would you recruit? It is very difficult, isn't it, to get a responsible, active, research scientist to change his career, to accept that type of appointment?
Dr. BENNETT. Well, Mr. Mosher, I didn't specify the number of individuals on this Council, but I would suppose it would be composed of three or five individuals. A little later on I point out that one advantage would be the opportunity for individuals with differing backgrounds to exchange views as equal members of a council. My own guess would be that the creation of such a council would eventually pose no more difficulty in selecting members than one encounters in trying to select members for the Council of Economic Advisers. And I would think that one would be able to persuade research scientists to do this. I think that one would probably be able to persuade the president of a university to take leave of absence to do this. I think one would be able to persuade an individual with experience in engineering and technology, possibly even from industry, to do this.
The suggestion was that the present Director of the Office of Science and Technology, who automatically in the past, at least, has been the President's Science Adviser, would act as Chairman of this council.
Mr. MOSHER. It would have to be a very prestigious group in order to attract the talent you want, and the talent that you might recruit would in turn determine how prestigious a group it became, I suppose
Dr. BENNETT. I think precisely that; with the present organization in the Office of Science and Technology, one has relatively little difficulty in attracting talent or supposed talent, I will put it that way, as Director for, or as Deputy Director, but below that one has no Presidential appointments to offer. You just become a member of the staff. We are talking here about really increasing the number of individuals and the variety of individuals who would be willing to accept a prestigious and responsible position. There would be more full-time minds thinking in this area. And I think that the situation is precisely at the
present time what it might be if there were one economic adviser to the President rather than the Council with the staff.
Mr. MoSHER. You suggested that such a council should be created by legislation, and two or three pages on, on page 21, if I understand correctly, you are saying that as a matter of strategy, almost any change that is proposed should be done not by Executive order, not by that route, but by action on the part of Congress.
Now, is that in part so that Congress will more fully understand and the Congress will commit itself, that any effective reorganization has to have the support of Congress and can't be done just by Executive order—is that your suggestion as a matter of strategy
Dr. BENNETT. My suggestion is simply because I think that a step as important as this should be accomplished by something other than a reorganization plan where Congress has the opportunity to wait 60 days and do nothing and accede to it. But I think that the fact that were sought by actual legislation would offer the opportunity for debate and for hearings and ideas might come out that might better be included in the plan than the original plan that was invented by the Executive. And I think that with legislation there would be a congressional endorsement of this particular structure that really doesn't exist, it seems to me, when there is simply a polite agreement to reorganization plans.
Mr. MOSHER. Mr. Chairman, I certainly would agree with that comment.
Dr. BENNETT. I might say that this is a political judgment, and it it is based purely
on my personal views. Mr. MOSHER. It is a matter that has to be of concern to the Congress, as it thinks this problem through, and as a matter of strategy.
Dr. SHANNON. There would be an added advantage as I see it. I discussed precisely the same concept in the attachment I submitted and, indeed, mentioned the level of the Council of Economic Advisers as the appropriate level for operation of such a council. But if this comes about as the result of congressional action, as I would hope, then there is one aspect that neither one of us has discussed. There would be a need to modify the responsibilities of some of the committee structure within the Congress in order to interact effectively with this new agency. I believe it would be most presumptuous for the executive branch to set up the type of council Dr. Bennett and I are proposing through an Executive order and then expect the Congress passively to comply with those arrangements. So I would personally support the concept that the subject should be thoroughly discussed by the Congress, that it should be developed if at all as the result of congressional initiative. This would permit free discussion with the executive branch. But the Council should be created by a body of law and not by an Executive order.
Mr. MOSHER. I think that is certainly true. And I think we all recognize that any effective reorganization has to be reflected in jurisdictional changes in the congressional committees.
Dr. BENNETT. Mr. Mosher, if I might comment, I think as you are undoubtedly well aware that there is always a certain reluctance in the executive branch, whether it be in the Executive Office or in the operating agencies, to open up something of this sort to congressional
discussion because of the fear they may get back an unwanted authority or responsibility or something of that sort. I made my recommendation in full recognition of the fact that if such an initiative were taken by the executive in seeking legislation, there would be some reluctance to open things up for
discussion because something unexpected might happen. And I think this is really the reason for the reorganization plan technique, rather than seeking additional leg. islation. But in this particular instance and because of the type of problem we are dealing with, a problem of long standing and that is going to be with us for a long time and a problem whose solution appears to be essential if science and technology are to be properly used to achieve social goals. I think in this particular situation there can be no question but what the only way to do this would be through additional legislation and with the debate, advice, and approval of Congress and a thorough understanding of Congress as to what it was authorizing.
Mr. DADDARIO. This committee certainly would agree with that. The restructuring of the National Science Foundation, which was a reorganization of an agency of government, did initiate with this committee. I would agree not only is it necessary to have the involvement of both the executive and legislative branches, but that the initiative, considering what the future is going to be and the requirements placed on us, must come from the Congress.
Mr. Brown? Mr. BROWN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would I ke to add to what has been said about the importance of this testimony. I think it has been certainly exceptional in the specificity of the points made and in the breadth of the recommendations offered. I am sure it is going to be extremely valuable.
I might offer the comment, too—I don't know whether this is justified or not-but it seems that the effect of leaving an administration seems to add to the perception of statesmanlike evaluation of individuals and we possibly ought to create some arrangement whereby we can take advantage of the wisdom that seems to be generated after people leave the administration.
Mr. DADDARIO. As Dr. Bennett has put it, they are now “thens.”
Mr. Brown. Well, I think it is a tribute to the fact that each of these gentlemen have a great deal of wisdom and judgment which when untrampled is able to reflect itself in very clear-cut ways.
Let me make or offer a question or two which may be somewhat peripheral, but in discussing the importance of this role of supporting academic science and providing it with the maximum freedom, which is the historical tradition of academic science in this country, you make some statements, Dr. Bennett, which relate to or bear upon another piece of legislation that this committee has been considering, and that is the institutional grants bill.
Did you have the mechanism of that bill in mind when you made your comments? You made a statement with regard to the need for a very careful evaluation of the formula by which institutional grants could be made, but your comments certainly did stress the importance of institutional support per se. Do you have any comments to offer about the specific mechanism the committee is studying?