UCSD Administrators Unconcerned about Effects of Government Shutdown on Campus

The partial U.S. government shutdown could have a direct effect on some of UC San Diego’s federally funded contracts and grants. Most researchers will be able to continue working, but some may be sent stop work orders by their respective sponsoring federal agency. Research funded by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security could be impacted.

“Many UCSD researchers receive funding from these agencies. The partial shutdown will not impact those whose grants have already begun — only anticipated new research projects or supplemental funding will be stopped during this time,” Assistant Vice Chancellor of Contracts and Grants Linda Collins said. “Submission of new applications will be stopped for agencies that do not yet have a budget.”

Research funded by the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Energy is unaffected because these departments approved their 2019 yearly fiscal budgets before the shutdown. Although the other agencies have been impacted, they will not yet affect UCSD’s research.

“As far as I know, there are no researcher’s projects so far that have been stalled due to lack of supplemental funding. However, if the shutdown continues as is expected, further impacts will be likely, especially those with NSF funding as that is the larger funder to UCSD that is subject to the partial shutdown,” Collins added.

To get funding for future research projects where funding may be stalled, UCSD is providing examples of how the shutdown could affect the school to the Federal Government Relations Representative and the leadership at the UC Office of the President. Both groups will work to influence congressional representatives to address the potential lack of funding.   

The Housing Dining and Hospitality department has not been affected by the shutdown because it does not receive any federal, state, or campus funding, Associate Director of University Communications Jade Griffin said.

Moreover, funding to students through the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will not be postponed due to the shutdown.

“Schools may be impacted to a small degree given that the automated confirmation with Selective Service is out during the shutdown. As an alternative, schools may gather the necessary verification via a website or directly from the student,” Director of Financial Aid and Scholarship Office Vonda Garcia said. “Likewise, students applying for 2019-20 aid via the FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, are not affected.”

Because the Selective Service Agency, which keeps records on people who may be subject to military conscription, will not have its program available, schools will have to use different methods to ensure that applying students signed up with the agency.

If the partial U.S. government shutdown continues, there will be concrete effects on the school’s contract and grants, but overall those effects will be minimal, Collins stated.


photo by Jacobs School of Engineering