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In a letter published on Wednesday, Penn President Amy Gutmann and 185 other university presidents urged the government to reconsider higher education funding cuts.

The letter is addressed directly to President Obama and Congress. It was published as an advertisement in the print edition of Politico, a political newspaper based out of Washington, D.C.

At around 500 words long, the message concisely appeals for “sustained strategic federal investments in research and student financial aid to close the innovation deficit and bolster our nation’s economic and national security for decades to come.” It goes on to cite touchscreens, GPS technology and some vaccines as past results of federal research funding.

The “innovation deficit” was defined as the “widening gap between needed and actual investments” in higher education and research. The letter implied that the deficit is partially at fault for the low rate of college degree attainment among Americans, compared to residents of other developed countries.

Calling upon the government to reject budget cuts, the final line notes that the cuts could undermine “our nation’s promise of a better tomorrow.”

The signatories of the letter are all presidents of universities that are members of the Association of American Universities and/or the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The AAU represents research-intensive American universities on an international scale. The APLU consists of 10 unique “Councils” that group university administrators that share similar roles.

The presidents of the AAU and the APLU also signed the letter.

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