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KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee President J. Wade Gilley lauded President Clinton’s proposal to pour $2.8 billion into scientific research in the 2001 budget.

Gilley voiced his support for a letter sent by the Science Coalition to Clinton praising the president for including the proposed funds in his budget, including a record 17.2 percent increase in funds for the National Science Foundation.

“Scientific research is one of the pillars of a university’s educational mission,” Gilley said. “The transfer of scientific research and development from universities into the public sector is an important engine of both our local and the global economies.”

Gilley also endorsed similar letters sent to the Republican and Democratic leadership of Congress urging them to continue strong bipartisan support for university-based science research. Other signees included heads of the University of Michigan, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, Cornell, Penn State and the University of North Carolina.

UT is a member of the Science Coalition, an alliance of more than 400 organizations, institutions and individuals dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s historic commitment to U.S. leadership in basic science.