MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota and government officials met Tuesday to hear about how costly of an impact the shutdown has been.
“The most impacted people are federal employees,” said Chris Cramer, University of Minnesota’s vice president for research. “But the longer term impact of the loss of payments to the research institution has consequences that can’t be ignored as well.”
About 25 percent of the U’s sponsored projects are from impacted government agencies. The bill? About $500,000 per day now on the university’s dime.
Officials say the shutdown also threatens Northrop’s outreach programs, and is causing anxiety for some students worried about delays in approval of financial aid.
“I’m doing everything I can think of to bring this shutdown to an end,” United States Senator Tina Smith told university officials.
Smith said hearing about the impact on students and faculty was frustrating.
“The sense of risk that this institution is taking on as this goes on, the financial risk just grows and grows,” she said.
Even if the shutdown ends, U of M officials say it won’t be so simple to get funding going again. There is also concern graduate students who rely on finishing research projects as part of their education could fall behind.
In the past, the university has been reimbursed with government shutdown costs. Sen. Smith said she expects that they will also be reimbursed this time.