FR Doc E9-29584[Federal Register: December 11, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 237)]
[Notices]               
[Page 65764-65765]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11de09-40]                             

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education--European 
Union-United States Atlantis Program; Program for North American 
Mobility in Higher Education; United States-Brazil Higher Education 
Consortia Program; United States-Russia Program: Improving Research and 
Educational Activities in Higher Education

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) Numbers: 
84.116J (European Union (EU)-United States (U.S.) Atlantis Program), 
84.116N (Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education), 
84.116M (U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program), 84.116S 
(U.S.-Russia Program: Improving Research and Educational Activities 
in Higher Education).
AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priorities.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education announces 
one absolute priority for each of the four special focus competitions 
conducted by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education 
(FIPSE): The EU-U.S. Atlantis Program, the Program for North American 
Mobility in Higher Education, the U.S.-Brazil Higher Education 
Consortia Program, and the U.S.-Russia Program: Improving Research and 
Educational Activities in Higher Education competitions.
    The Assistant Secretary may use these priorities for competitions 
in fiscal year (FY) 2010 and in later years. We take this action to 
focus Federal financial assistance on an identified need in the area of 
postsecondary education. We intend these absolute priorities to improve 
postsecondary education opportunities by supporting the formation of 
international educational consortia and encouraging cooperation in the 
coordination of curricula, the exchange of students, and the opening of 
educational opportunities between the U.S. and the countries involved 
in these programs.

DATES: Effective Date: These priorities are effective January 11, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Beaton, U.S. Department of 
Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6154, Washington, DC 20006-8544. 
Telephone: (202) 502-7621 or by e-mail: Sarah.Beaton@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Fund for the Improvement of 
Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program is to support reforms, 
innovations, and significant improvements of postsecondary education 
that respond to problems of national significance and serve as 
international models. Under the FIPSE program, the Secretary makes 
grants for special projects concerning areas of national need.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1138-1138d.
    We published a notice of proposed priorities for the FIPSE program 
in the Federal Register on September 8, 2009 (74 FR 46117). That notice 
contained background information and our reasons for proposing the 
particular priorities.
    Except for minor editorial revisions, there are no differences 
between the proposed priorities and these final priorities.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of 
proposed priorities, we did not receive any substantive comments on the 
proposed priorities.
    Final Priorities:
    Absolute Priority 1--EU-U.S. Atlantis Program (84.116J).
    This priority supports the formation of educational consortia 
between the EU and U.S. institutions. To meet this priority, the 
applicant must propose a project that encourages cooperation in the 
coordination of curricula; the exchange of students, if pertinent to 
grant activities; and the opening of educational opportunities between 
the U.S. and countries in the EU. In order to be eligible for an award 
under this priority, the applicant in the U.S. must be a U.S. 
institution and the applicant in the EU must be an EU institution.
    EU institutions participating in any consortium proposal under this 
priority may apply to the Directorate-General for Education and Culture 
(DG EAC), European Commission for funding under a separate but parallel 
EU competition.
    Absolute Priority 2--Program for North American Mobility in Higher 
Education (84.116N).
    This priority supports the formation of educational consortia of 
U.S., Canadian, and Mexican institutions. To meet this priority, the 
applicant must propose a project that supports cooperation in the 
coordination of curricula; the exchange of students, if pertinent to 
grant activities; and the opening of educational opportunities among 
the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In order to be eligible for an award 
under this priority, the applicant in the U.S. must be a U.S. 
institution, the applicant in Mexico must be a Mexican institution, and 
the applicant in Canada must be a Canadian institution. Canadian and 
Mexican institutions participating in any consortium proposal under 
this priority may apply, respectively, to Human Resources and Social 
Development Canada (HRSDC) or the Mexican Secretariat for Public 
Education (SEP), for additional funding under separate but parallel 
Canadian and Mexican competitions.
    Absolute Priority 3--U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program 
(84.116M).
    This priority supports the formation of educational consortia of 
U.S. and Brazilian institutions. To meet this priority, the applicant 
must propose a project that supports cooperation in the coordination of 
curricula; the exchange of students, if pertinent to grant activities; 
and the opening of educational opportunities between the U.S. and 
Brazil. In order to be eligible for an award under this priority, the 
applicant in the U.S. must be a U.S. institution and the applicant in 
Brazil must be a Brazilian institution. Brazilian institutions 
participating in any consortium proposal under this priority may apply 
to the Coordination of Improvement of Personnel of Superior Level 
(CAPES), Brazilian Ministry of Education, for additional funding under 
a separate but parallel Brazilian competition.
    Absolute Priority 4--U.S.-Russian Program: Improving Research and 
Educational Activities in Higher Education (84.116S).
    This priority supports the formation of educational consortia of 
U.S. and Russian institutions to encourage mutual socio-cultural-
linguistic cooperation; the coordination of joint development of 
curricular, educational materials; and the exchange of students. In 
order to be eligible for an award under this priority, the applicant in 
the U.S. must be a U.S. institution and the applicant in Russia must be 
a Russian institution. Russian institutions will receive separate but 
parallel funding from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science.
    Types of Priorities:
    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

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    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by: (1) 
Awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:  This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these priorities, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Order 12866: This notice has been reviewed in accordance 
with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have 
assessed the potential costs and benefits of this final regulatory 
action.
    The potential costs associated with this final regulatory action 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this final regulatory action, we have determined 
that the benefits of the proposed priorities justify the costs.
    We have determined, also, that this final regulatory action does 
not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    We summarized the costs and benefits of this regulatory action in 
the notice of proposed priorities.
    Intergovernmental Review: The FIPSE program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated 
authority to Daniel T. Madzelan, Director, Forecasting and Policy 
Analysis for the Office of Postsecondary Education, to perform the 
functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary 
Education.

    Dated: December 8, 2009.
Daniel T. Madzelan,
Director, Forecasting and Policy Analysis.
[FR Doc. E9-29584 Filed 12-10-09; 8:45 am]

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