Weekly Market Update

SHUTDOWN JEOPARDIZES UNIVERSITY RESEARCH

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The recent government shutdown has left many university researchers and their work in uncertain territory. The shutdown applies to numerous federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), none of which are covered by the appropriations bills already signed into law. The NSF alone manages a budget of more than $7.5 billion that is used to support thousands of research grants to university faculty nationwide. The shutdown leaves agency-funded scientists with no ability to communicate with their funding agencies about ongoing projects, and a protracted shutdown may threaten research across a wide range of fields.

In Other News

  • Former congressman of Virginia's 7th District, Dave Brat, accepted a job as the dean of the business school at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA after losing his seat in Congress to Democrat Abigail Spanberger. Before serving in Congress, Brat was the chairman of the economics department at Randolph-Macon College.
  • New England College announced it will absorb the New Hampshire Institute of Art, creating a campus extension in Manchester. The merger is a result of New England College's effort to increase enrollment, currently at 1,200 students, in response to recent economic challenges.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden recently declined a $100,000 speaking fee offered by University of Utah after learning it would be paid with taxpayer money. Some speculated that Biden turned down the money to avoid criticism of the sort that Hillary Clinton faced in her 2016 presidential campaign. He is expected to announce his own presidential campaign plans soon.
  • Elon University is suing a former student over $18,365 in federal loans, interest, penalties, and fees. The Perkins Loan Program allows schools to lend money to students with "exceptional financial need" from a pool of money provided by the federal government. When students default, the school is responsible for collecting the money. University of Pennsylvania, Yale, and George Washington University have brought similar suits against former students.