A Message Regarding the Federal Government Shutdown
To the Members of the Georgetown University Community
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
As you know, we are experiencing the first shutdown of the federal government in seventeen years. As the federal government is the largest employer in the Washington D.C. region, we are keenly aware that this disruption has a significant impact on many members of the Georgetown community.
There are very real consequences of the shutdown that are impacting the University, particularly our research and programs that have depended on grants from federal agencies. For example, both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have indicated that they will not be accepting new grant proposals, a number of which have been under development here on our campus, during the shutdown. Most ongoing research grants that receive federal funding, however, can continue by making use of already approved funds, provided next steps in that work do not require federal approval to move forward.
At this point the direct financial impacts to the University’s student funding for this semester have not been significant because our semester is already underway; we have already received our allocations of campus-based financial aid funding for the year. Additionally, we are also fortunate that more than 90 percent of other fall semester federal grant and loan funds for which our students qualify was already in hand before the shutdown, and the government announced that schools’ ability to access funds would not be affected by the shutdown. We are continuing to work through the possible financial implications if the shutdown continues for an extended period beyond this current semester.
During this time of uncertainty, we are working to mitigate the impacts of the shutdown across our University. While many government websites remain unavailable, specific information regarding the National Science Foundation can be accessed here and NIH information remains available here. General information about all government agencies can be found here.
If you have any questions about your particular program, grant, research funding or any other matter on this issue please do not hesitate to reach out to your department administrative officers or Scott Fleming, Associate Vice President for Federal Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also invite those who experience a negative impact in their programs to please let Scott know so we are aware of the full scope and complexity of the effects on our community.
We are also working to create ways to be of support to federal workers who are currently on furlough. The School of Continuing Studies is currently developing professional courses offered through the Center for Continuing and Professional Education available to employees affected by the shutdown. These courses will be free of charge and offered during normal work hours. Please visit the program’s website here to learn more.
Please know that we will continue to monitor developments as this shutdown continues and will remain in close to communication regarding potential implications for members of our community.
John J. DeGioia