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Mr. GEILS. The CUTHA organizing people have been in touch with the National Science Foundation. I believe they have added to their board Dr. Lloyd Cook who is a member of the National Science Board at NSF. I believe that contact has been established and is evolving.
When you are only 1 year old, as CUTHA is, you have a lot of work to do in order to get your chestnuts lined up before you can actually function. It is still in an organizational stage.
Mr. BROWN. You cannot indicate at this point whether there has actually been an effort to get some supporting funds through that source in order to promote CUTHA program?
Mr. GEILS. I don't know for sure. But, I don't think they have approached NSF for funding. I know they have approached industry. We have processed their request at A.T. & T.
Mr. BROWN. General Marsh, I really was struck by your testimony. I think it was very much to the point. It put its finger on some of the key problems that we have. I admire the breadth of your perspective on this. I would hope that there would be voices in the executive offices listening to what you have said.
It reiterates many of the things that we have said here, particularly the need to establish a national goal of achieving this scientific and technical excellence. Now, you have an excellent channel, the new science adviser, who is extremely sympathetic to the needs of the military, who has indicated he proposes to devote a good deal of his time to that, and who in turn is charged under the National Science and Technology Policy Act with a responsibility for scientific and engineering manpower.
Have you had any discussions with him or do you think that it is possible that you might be able to enlist the support of the President's science adviser in trying to establish these national goals and sense of commitment?
General MARSH. Sir, I have not had any personal contact with him as yet. I think it is entirely possible to do so. I believe we will be taking steps to try and bring this problem personally to his attention and solicit his participation in this.
Mr. BROWN. Dr. Frosch?
Dr. FROSCH. Mr. Chairman, I might comment that a group of us from the American Association of Engineering Societies as well as representatives of a number of the engineering societies individually, have had discussions with Dr. Keyworth about this problem. He is aware of the difficulties and some of the proposed solutions, and has expressed considerable interest in participating in the formulation of Administration policy to help in this area.
Mr. BROWN. Dr. Gaither?
Mr. GAITHER. I feel a necessity to clear up a point here, because I see the words engineer and science being bandied back and forth as equivalents. I admit there is a great deal of overlap between the two. There are people in both areas that do work in the other area.
But, I would point out that there are not today a shortage of physicists. There is not today a shortage of chemists. Nor is there a shortage of mathematicians. The word engineer comes from the Latin ingeniator, which means clever contriver. These are people that put things together and make machines. The word engineer is spelled with an "1" after the Latin in all of the European languages, but it is not so in this country.
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An engine is a device that was contrived by a clever contriver. But today in this country, we tend to use the word engineer to mean engine operator. There is a big difference between these. Certainly, when you are talking at the level teaching in universities. We are talking about people that are very highly sophisticated in their knowledge on what the engines of tomorrow are going to look like rather than operating the ones of today.
The use of these words scientist and engineer I think has to be very carefully done. I would commend you to be careful with that.
Mr. BROWN. Well, as you know, Dr. Gaither, I have been concerned about that for a number of years. But, the fact is that we charged the National Science Foundation with the responsibility for engineering and technical policy problems as well as scientific research problems. I am proceeding on that basis rather than my own sometimes expressed view that possibly an alternative mode of handling the problems of engineers would be desirable.
But, I concur in the point that you are making. Dr. Frosch, you have had extensive experience at NASA and other places with the problems of engineering manpower in the Government and, of course, outside of Government as well.
But, are you aware of any general policy or commitment on the part of the Government that would complement what General Marsh said about a commitment to the achievement of outstanding or preeminent excellence in this field? In other words, do we have a national manpower policy for engineering personnel with a mechanism for examining and looking at the sort of things that you described that will enable us to act effectively?
Dr. FROSCH. Mr. Chairman, I am not aware of a comprehensive policy with regard to technological manpower or engineering manpower. There are a number of agencies of Government that are charged with collecting statistical data on all kinds of manpower, including engineering manpower and scientific manpower.
There are some individual areas where there have been goals enunciated. But, I don't know of a comprehensive U.S. goal of technological excellence, certainly not in the past few years.
Mr. BROWN. Are you aware of any directives or policy guidance from OMB dealing with this general problem?
Dr. FROSCH. I do not recall over the past several years any that directly dealt with that problem. There are some policy distinctions in Federal manpower regulations with regard to professions and occupations in which the country is short of people. And those apply in Government hiring of engineers, scientists, and others.
But, I don't think that would correspond in my mind to a specific policy with regard to that. I may be being forgetful, but nothing certainly stands out as significant.
Mr. BROWN. General Marsh, do you have any comments from the standpoint of the military on this? You have expressed the need for a national policy and commitment. How close have we come to having one that you are aware of?
General MARSH. Mr. Chairman, I likewise am unaware of a real, stated national policy or commitment that addresses the problem in the broadest sense. However, I must say that there have been a number of individual initiatives taken by the Department of Defense and, in turn, supported by the administration and the Congress, that attacked the problem in many ways.
As you, I am sure, are aware, for the military, we recently proposed successfully a bonus for engineers that would aid in the retention of engineers in the military service. And, I believe just yesterday, or recently, in conference, that bonus was approved. We obviously have succeeded well in the administration and with the support of Congress in raising the ROTC scholarship program from some level around 5,000 up to near 10,000. And so, I think our individual initiatives that we have constructed to address this problem have had strong support, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BROWN. But, it seems to me that the things that you are describing are sort of antidotes to our failure to have a policy rather than a policy. We do this for specialties in the medical field or veterinarians or whenever we find that we have failed to provide for the ongoing supply or the conditions which will give us retention of needed specialties in the military. Then, we do these special things in order to remedy that situation.
But, I don't think that's what you had in mind in terms of a national commitment to excellence in engineering and technical fields. Perhaps I'm mistaken.
General MARSH. No, Mr. Chairman. I believe you are not. I did have in mind a broader commitment, a national commitment.
Dr. FROSCH. Mr. Chairman, if I may, I think that it is clear that we have been unwilling nationally even to state that we felt that technology was extremely important to us as a national interest, much less that technologists, therefore, were of special importance. So, in some areas, I think we are reaping some difficulties as a result of that.
Mr. GEILS. I would like to lend industry's support to General Marsh and Bob Frosch on the issue of having a national policy statement. We are running a national meeting in April of next year; industry and academe are together. The Business Higher Education Forum is involved. And, we are preparing right now a “declaration of intent", much like the Delaration of Independence.
We hope to have high-level people in Government and industry and academe sign that declaration of intent. There will be some action plans forthcoming as part of it. But, it is leading to the national policy statement which General Marsh so rightfully asked for.
Mr. BROWN. Well, I'm sure you are aware that we have made efforts in the past on this committee and in the Congress and in the executive branch to move in this direction. But today, the emphasis is going to be on greater responsibility by private industry and academia.
I think this is a real challenge and one which industry particularly should rise to in the sense of providing the sense of urgency and encouragement for the enunciation of this kind of policy. I think the policy, even without the sin of throwing large amounts of Federal dollars at the problem, may be helpful in itself.
It may set a framework within which we can establish this cooperative relationship which, again, is not something that you are suggesting. This is something I think all of us are committed to do who have studied the problems that we are describing. Yet, we have got to be able to make a great deal of progress at our level.
Dr. FROSCH. Mr. Chairman, it would seem to me that an enunciation of policy might be most important with regard to the attitudes of secondary school and primary school teaching, education, and students in the sense that Jack Geils mentioned earlier, the importance of seeing that that early education, which is the underpinnings of understanding technology, is important, not only for those who go on to become engineers, but also for those who don't go on to become engineers, but who take other roles in the society: important for them so that they can understand what it is that is going on in the technological society.
There is an attitude problem and the establishment of a kind of official national attitude, in a sense, might help in generating greater interest and understanding of what is at stake in this area.
Mr. BROWN. I'm sure it was. But, I'm equally sure that the organization that you and Mr. Geils represent can be a powerful influence in encouraging local education to make this change in emphasis that you so badly need.
Dr. FROSCH. We will be trying to do that.
Mr. BROWN. I'm going to recognize some of our other members. Mr. Dunn?
Mr. DUNN. Realizing that you gentlemen are the experts--
Mr. BROWN. I would like to invite Cooper Evans to come up and sit with us. I know of his great interest and background in this area. Just because he isn't a member of this committee, we shouldn't be deprived of his expertise.
Mr. Dunn. Realizing that you gentlemen are the experts and we are supposed to ask the questions, I would nevertheless like to throw out a couple of different possible solutions that do not involve Government support.
I represent Michigan State University, one of the largest engineering schools in the country. I spent some time at U of M this summer and I also spent some time at General Motors, one of the largest firms in the country hiring engineers. I would like to talk about the problem of retaining people at the graduate level.
The arguments, and you correctly stated them, seem to be that industrial salaries outweigh the advantages of staying in school. GM, in talking to me, said yes, we definitely need doctor of philosophy level people. And yet, I have some doubt-and, McDonnell Douglas said the same thing to me—whether that is really the case. In looking over their pay schedules, there is very little difference between what they offer a doctor of philosophy versus a typical graduate engineer. If they really need this and there really is a demand function of the market, there should be a bigger difference.
If in creating this industry difference, you give students adequate encouragement to stay, that would be solution number one. If industry has this demand, recognize it and make the pay different.
Number two, and more significant in my opinion, relates to the problems of funding for fellowships and also to the problems of foreign students, particularly in engineering.
General Marsh pointed out statistics, 47 percent, 30 percent, and 8 percent. The nationwide average seems to be around 20 percent. Most of our universities are State schools, and they are State subsidized. I did some figures with Michigan State University. Per foreign student, it costs the taxpayers of Michigan almost $2,000 per year per student. That was based on the true cost, fixed costs, and variable costs.
If it costs $2,000 per foreign student and if the majority of those foreign students are taking our technological expertise back to their own countries and becoming our competitors, why should we subsidize them? I would raise the point that we should not be, that we should raise their tuition that $2,000 and to give you some figures on what happens when we do that. Michigan State right now has approximately 4,000 students in engineering. Take my minimal figure of 20 percent times 4,000, and you get 800 students.
If you charge those 800 students an extra $2,000, you come up with $1,600,000. I would propose that we use that $1,600,000 to increase the level that we pay fellowships to encourage American students to stay at the graduate level program.
It is not a cost to the Government or to the university. The only possible fallout from that would be if, because of the $2,000 increase, foreign students would no longer attend our universities. To a man, I got an answer of negative. We do have the best educational system in the world. When they are calculating the cost of coming here from France, Germany, or India, the $2,000 doesn't even cover their airplane flight over here.
So, we will not stop them from coming. My question is what's wrong with that? Why wouldn't it work?
Mr. GAITHER. If I can respond to some of it, there are basically two questions there. If industry has the demand, why don't they support the graduate students in the schools?
Mr. Dunn. No. Why don't they pay? It is a very minimal difference.
Mr. GAITHER. You are correct with General Motors. Let me give you some information on that. I lost a faculty member about a year ago to Exxon. All they did was double his salary. That's all. They said, whatever you are making right now, we will pay you double to come and work with us. They did it and he's there now.
Unfortunately, his name is Roger Gater, and with a name like that, I could really use him at the University of Florida. [Laughter.]
Two years ago we had a yearlong visit from a man who will probably be the head of his corporation. They paid his full industrial salary, paid for all of his wife's and children's travel expenses to get to the University of Florida. He sat and worked with us. He wrote six papers. Each one of those six was a milestone.
That man was from the Hatachi Co. They sent us $6,000 just to make sure he was happy while he was there. He wasn't from General Motors.
With regard to the cost of foreign students, our big problem is we don't have enough graduate students, period. We don't have an abundance of foreign students. The 40 percent or these high percents that are being given out, that isn't disturbing me. What is disturbing me is there is not enough of any of them. Those gradu