WASHINGTON, D.C. — A University of Kansas staff member will head an effort by the nation's leading research universities to encourage higher levels of federal funding for the nation's science research agencies. 

Jack ClineJack ClinePhoto courtesy of the University of KansasJack Cline, director of federal relations at KU, was recently selected as the 2016 president of the board of directors for The Science Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of the nation's leading public and private and research universities, including KU.

"It's a real honor to represent the nation's 64 leading research universities. Without exaggeration, our coalition represents the best research universities in the world, and we are singularly focused on seeking increased federal funding for research every fiscal year," Cline said. "We will work to continue to share the direct influence scientific research has on saving lives, bringing intellectual property to the marketplace and driving our nation's economy."

Cline’s one-year term as president begins Jan. 1. He served as the board's secretary in 2015.

The coalition's mission to communicate to members of Congress the importance of federal research funding at science agencies also supports KU's research priorities as a member of both the Association of American Universities and Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

"KU is unique among the AAU and APLU member institutions around the country. We're fortunate to have a congressional delegation that strongly supports research," Cline said. "They understand the significant influence federal research dollars have not only at KU but nationally."

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Cline's continued leadership role with the coalition reinforces KU's reputation as a national leader among research universities.

"In seeking to better understand the world around us and to drive economic growth in our communities, we look to scientific research," she said. "The coalition's work in support of this vital endeavor will help ensure that our university is able to continue making discoveries that change our world for the better and to create prosperity."

Jack Cline has worked in higher education advocacy or as a policy adviser for more than 16 years. Before joining KU, he was assistant vice president for federal relations for the University of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2012 and had worked for three Massachusetts governors and on Capitol Hill.