by Richard J. Bennof
This analysis first addresses federal S&E support findings for all academic institutions, followed by an analysis of the major findings on minorityserving institutions. The National Science Foundation's (NSF's) latest statistics from the Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions show that federal agencies obligated $28.5 billion (table 1) in current dollars to 1,216 academic institutions for science and engineering (S&E) activities in FY 2007. This amount represents a current-dollar decrease of 0.4% from the FY 2006 level, or a 3.0% decrease in inflation-adjusted constant 2000 dollars. This decrease was the first in current dollars reported to this survey in 11 years. It follows a 0.9% current-dollar increase (a 2.3% decrease in inflation-adjusted dollars) in total federal academic S&E support between FY 2005 and FY 2006. (Unless otherwise stated, all obligation percentages listed below are in current dollars.)
Table 1 Source Data: Excel file
Federal academic S&E obligations include six categories, of which research and development (R&D) annually accounts for the majority (table 1). In FY 2007, R&D accounted for $25.3 billion (89%) of the $28.5 billion of total academic S&E support.
The six funding categories of federal S&E support are defined as follows:
- Research and Development includes all direct, indirect, incidental, or related costs resulting from or necessary to performing R&D by private individuals and organizations under grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
- R&D plant includes all projects whose principal purpose is to provide support for construction, acquisition, renovation, modification, repair, or rental of facilities, land, works, or fixed equipment for use in scientific or engineering R&D.
- Facilities and equipment for S&E instruction include all programs whose principal purpose is to provide support for construction, acquisition, renovation, modification, repair, or rental of facilities, land, works, or equipment for use in instruction in S&E.
- Fellowships, traineeships, and training grants include all fellowship, traineeship, and training grant programs that are directed primarily toward the development and maintenance of the scientific workforce.
- General support for S&E are funds used for scientific projects and support for activities within a specified discipline; explicit purpose is not specified.
- Other S&E activities include all academic S&E obligations that cannot be assigned elsewhere and activities in support of technical conferences, teacher institutes, and programs aimed at increasing precollege and undergraduate students' scientific knowledge.
All academic institutions combined received 61% of total federal FY 2007 academic S&E obligations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (table 1), primarily from the National Institutes of Health. NSF (15%), the Department of Defense (DOD) (11%), the Department of Agriculture (USDA) (4%), and the Department of Energy (DOE) (3%) provided most of the remaining academic S&E total.
Federal S&E Support to Minority-Serving Academic Institutions
The remainder of this InfoBrief presents data on federal S&E support to minority-serving institutions: historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), high-Hispanic-enrollment (HHE) institutions, and tribal colleges and universities.
Seventy-eight of the 102 HBCUs received a combined $406 million in FY 2007 federal academic S&E obligations, an 8.6% decrease over FY 2006 levels (table 2). This decrease was the second consecutive annual current-dollar decrease in HBCU funding levels resulting in an FY 2007 total that is less than the annual funding in any year since FY 2001. HHS contributed over one-third of all federal academic S&E obligations to HBCUs with USDA funding over one-fourth of the total (table 1). Overall, 58% of federal S&E obligations to HBCUs supported R&D. Twenty-nine percent of the federal total supported "other S&E activities" at HBCUs, compared with a 6% share that this category accounted for at all institutions nationwide (table 1). The great majority of HBCU support from DOD, DOE, HHS, and NASA (at proportions ranging from three-fourths to the entire amount) in FY 2007 was for R&D programs. Nearly three-fourths of all HBCU support from NSF and nearly one-half from USDA were for other S&E activities. Those two agencies reported 90% of all funds for HBCUs' other S&E activities.
Table 2 Source Data: Excel file
The leading 20 HBCUs ranked by federal academic S&E support accounted for 72% of the academic S&E total for HBCUs in FY 2007 (table 2). Howard University continued (as it has in many years) as the leading HBCU recipient of federal S&E obligations, receiving $32 million in FY 2007, of which $22 million was for R&D. About two-thirds of the Howard University S&E total was from HHS.
In FY 2007, 96 HHE institutions (out of 257 schools designated as HHEs nationwide) received $594 million in federal academic S&E support, a 1.6% current-dollar decrease over the total received by HHE institutions in FY 2006. Of all the HHEs in FY 2007, nearly four-fifths of total S&E obligations were for R&D programs. Nearly three-fifths of all federal academic S&E support to these institutions was from HHS (table 1).
Eighty-one percent of HHS support and 97% of DOD support to HHEs was for R&D projects. DOD provided for 18% of all federal S&E obligations to HHEs compared with DOD's much smaller 11% share of the total provided to all universities and colleges. In general, federal academic S&E support to HHEs more closely mirrors national academic S&E totals (as compared to HBCUs and tribal universities and colleges) in terms of agency and category predominance (HHS and R&D, respectively).
In FY 2007, the University of New Mexico (all campuses) was the leading HHE recipient of federal academic S&E obligations, as it was in FY 2006 (table 3). Almost three-fifths of its $119 million academic S&E total was from HHS and over $9 of each $10 was R&D related. The leading 20 high-Hispanic-enrollment institutions accounted for 91% of the academic S&E total in FY 2007 for all such institutions.
Table 3 Source Data: Excel file
Tribal Colleges and Universities
There were 29 tribal colleges and universities (from a total of 32) that received federal academic S&E obligations in FY 2007 (table 4). Federal S&E funding levels for tribal colleges and universities has been erratic. In FY 2007, total funds decreased by 13.2% to $25.0 million, following a 20.4% decrease between FY 2005 and FY 2006. Between FY 2004 and FY 2005 S&E obligations to tribal colleges and universities had risen by 50.7%. In FY 2007, R&D programs comprised 33% of the total federal S&E support to tribal colleges and universities, compared with the 89% share for all universities (table 1). More than one-half of all tribal college and university funding was for other S&E activities. Most funds for other S&E activities were from NSF; nearly all of NSF's support for tribal colleges and universities was for other S&E activities. NSF and USDA, combined, funded 71% of the academic S&E total to tribal colleges and universities (table 1).
Table 4 Source Data: Excel file
There is considerable variability in annual institutional rankings among the tribal colleges and universities: four of the top 10 in FY 2007 were among the top 10 in FY 2006. However, Salish Kootenai College (located in Pablo, Montana) received the most federal S&E obligations in both FY 2006 and FY 2007. Other S&E activities comprised almost three-fifths of the S&E total to Salish Kootenai College. More than three-fifths of the S&E support to Salish Kootenai College was from NSF.
The data on federal S&E obligations to academic institutions presented in this InfoBrief were obtained from 19 agencies that participated in the FY 2007 Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions. The survey collects federal S&E support data by funding agency, institution, type of activity, type of institution, and geographic location. NASA's reported R&D obligations to academic institutions decreased substantially between FY 2006 ($975,305,000) and FY 2007 ($552,963,000) for two reasons: (1) NASA explained that in FY 2007 the agency excluded projects that were operational in nature and that were not excluded in FY 2006; and (2) there was an overall decrease in obligations between FY 2006 and FY 2007.
The full set of detailed statistical tables on the FY 2007 Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions is available online at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/fedsupport/. For more information, contact the author.
 Richard J. Bennof, Research and Development Statistics Program, Division of Science Resources Statistics, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965, Arlington, VA 22230 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 703-292-7783).
 The FY 2007 government-wide decline largely stems from reporting changes by NASA. See Data Notes.
 The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as "…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary (of Education) to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation."
 Institutions are identified as having high-Hispanic enrollment for this report based on fall 2006 enrollment. They are institutions whose full-time-equivalent (FTE) fall enrollment of undergraduate students is at least 25% Hispanic in a given year. The fall enrollment data are self-reported by the institutions to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The exact number and identification of HHE institutions can vary from year to year.
An HHE institution is not necessarily a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI). HSIs are eligible institutions that have recently received grants from the Department of Education's HSI program, authorized by Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. In 2006, eligibility for the HSI program was defined as nonprofit institutions with at least 25% Hispanic FTE undergraduate enrollment, and at least 50% of the Hispanic enrollment had to be low income. The Third Higher Education extension Act of 2006 removed the low-income criterion for defining eligibility for the HSI program.
 University of New Mexico's Gallup campus is not a high-Hispanic-enrollment institution; data from the Gallup campus are therefore excluded from the total.
 The list of tribal colleges and universities is from the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities (see http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/list/whtc/edlite-index.html). Tribal colleges and universities are designated in section 2 of the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978.