SCHUMER-LED PUSH SAVES CORNELL RESEARCH LAB FUNDING FROM CHOPPING BLOCK -- SECURES COMMITMENT TO KEEP CHESS LAB OPEN AFTER FEARS THAT RESEARCH FACILITY WOULD LOSE APPROXIMATELY $28 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING
BigNews.Biz - Jun 20,2012 - SCHUMER-LED PUSH SAVES CORNELL RESEARCH LAB FUNDING FROM CHOPPING BLOCK -- SECURES COMMITMENT TO KEEP CHESS LAB OPEN AFTER FEARS THAT RESEARCH FACILITY WOULD LOSE APPROXIMATELY $28 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING
Fearing A Loss Of Federal Funding, Cornell University Asked For Schumer’s Help To Keep Important Research Lab Open – Over A Thousand Scientists Rely On Cornell CHESS Lab For Physics, Chemistry, Biology & Engineering Research
Shutting Down CHESS Would Have Squandered Nearly $1 Billion In Taxpayer Dollars And Would Have Been Big Blow For Local Economy
Schumer Personally Weighed In on Behalf of Lab Funding With Heads of Nat’l Science Foundation, Office of Management & Budget & Senior White House Officials
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, joined by Cornell University President Dr. David J. Skorton, announced that he had secured commitments from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to keep funding for Cornell’s CHESS lab in place. In his efforts to secure funding, Senator Schumer spoke personally with the Director of the NSF, the White House Office of Science and Technology, and the Acting Director of the OMB.
The month’s long effort to save the lab began when NSF told school officials they were seriously considering cutting off funding for all research of this type.
“The importance of the work done by the CHESS lab cannot be understated, and it would be unbelievably short sighted to shut it down, both for our nation’s scientific research and for Cornell and the local economy,” said Schumer. “We don’t need to take an x-ray machine to this problem to understand that shutting the lab down was the wrong choice. Thankfully, the officials at the White House and the National Science Foundation have seen the light of day, and funding for the lab is once again safe and secure.”
Reacting to the news Cornell President David J. Skorton said, "Senator Schumer is a good friend of higher education. We very much appreciate his efforts to secure continued funding for Cornell's CHESS that is so vital to the scientific community. We are committed to working with Senator Schumer to realize the full potential of this critical program."
While the CHESS facility is of critical importance, there was a real danger that it’s funding would be cut. Every few years, the NSF and Cornell University reassess the terms of the arrangement that allows Cornell to operate CHESS. This agreement is the road map by which Cornell receives approximately $28 million every year in operating assistance to do federally-sponsored and private industry research.
A few months back, Senator Schumer was contacted by Cornell with some bad news that NSF was considering not funding light sources like CHESS, and that only the Department of Energy labs should serve the scientific community. Without NSF funding, the CHESS facility would not have been able to keep running.
“Shutting down the CHESS facility would have meant abandoning nearly a billion dollars of infrastructure built with taxpayer dollars and decades of federal investment,”