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‘Fiscal cliff’ would cut research money for UMass

AMHERST — Federal research funding totaling $32 million could be lost if the U.S. cannot avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, which means automatic cuts to defense and domestic discretionary programs, according to the University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret.

The university’s board of trustees met with Caret at the Mullins Center a day after meeting with UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.

Federal agencies that finance the university’s research, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, would be subject to an estimated 8.2 percent reduction in funding, Caret said.

“The innovations and discoveries happening on our campuses that improve and save lives and nurture industries that keep the state competitive in the global economy would be put at risk if these cuts were to take place,” Caret said.

Caret called on President Barack Obama and congressional representatives to reach a deal to avoid such cuts.

His speech came on the same day the trustees approved a $480 million state funding request for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The budget request now goes to the state Legislature and governor’s office for consideration.

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