UK administration preparing for potential government shutdown

UK administration is preparing for the potential shutdown of the federal government and the impact it could have on the university, but said currently students have no reason to be alarmed.

In a campus-wide email Thursday, UK administration said the greatest potential impact on campus would be on students receiving federal aid and researchers with federal grants.

The email said administration is closely monitoring the situation and developing contingency plans and will communicate further to students when they know how a government shutdown would affect programs used by students and faculty.

Friday at midnight is the deadline for Congress to either pass a budget for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year or approve another short-term spending bill to keep the government afloat while negotiations continue.

According to the email, most experts agree that a government shutdown probably would not have long-term consequences for students and colleges. It also said that a shutdown likely won’t have an immediate effect on university-based research, since projects supported by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation are typically provided with financing a year or more in advance.

If a government shutdown occurs, much of the work in Congress would stop and federal agencies would be unable to operate without spending authority provided by Congress.

According to the email, federal employees can continue work needed to safeguard human life, to protect federal property or to shut down government functions in an orderly way if a shutdown occurs.

It is estimated that a shutdown could idle 800,000 of the 1.9 million civilian federal workers.

UK administration emphasized that it would communicate any news to students and staff as soon as definitive plans are worked out.