UCCS largely unaffected by government shutdown

Oct. 7, 2013

Nick Beadleston, Samantha Morley
[email protected], [email protected]

While the government shutdown stands to affect multiple aspects of American life, the UCCS administration is not alarmed.

“Chances are we won’t be effected unless it goes on for quite a while,” said Tom Hutton, executive director of University Advancement. “There’s no immediate cause for alarm.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that if the Department of Education is shut down for more than a week it would “severely curtail the cash flow” to universities with federal grants.

“While things may get slow with respect to grant funds…I don’t think there are any things affecting the finances of the university,” said Brian Burnett, senior executive vice chancellor for administration and finance.

Jevita Rogers, director of the Office of Financial Aid, Student Employment and Scholarships, said benefits through the College Opportunity Fund will not be affected by the shutdown.

“Our state funding is safe,” Rogers said.

Pell Grants and student loan programs are also protected, according to Rogers.

Rogers, a former D.C. resident, indicated that due to multiple shutdowns since the mid-90s, the Department of Education has become equipped to plan for lapses in government funding.

Though the DOE website is not currently being updated due to personnel furloughs, their contingency plan remains online and outlines department functions that will remain operational.

The general feeling espoused by many on campus is that the shutdown will not last long enough to affect university operations.

According to Lt. Col. Mark Thompson, commander of the UCCS ROTC program, cadets can expect operations to continue relatively unchanged.

“We have some resource challenges but they have minimal impact on our daily classroom and weekly labs,” Thompson said.

Thompson did indicate that four civilian employees have been furloughed, which has led to “reduced capability to preform our administrated functions.”

“If [the shutdown] goes till December we might have a problem,” Rogers said. “Through December we are fine.”

While UCCS not be affected yet, the city of Colorado Springs, with 55,000 federal workers and 18.8 percent of federal employees, is the most affected city in the shutdown, according to a Washington Post article published Oct. 2.