Faculty members are still reeling from the repercussions of the recent three-week long government shutdown and many are wondering what another shutdown could bring about.
Cal Poly Pomona is funded by the state of California, so the campus community’s day-to-day operations were not affected directly by the shutdown.
However, since much of the money for faculty research comes from federal funding, some research projects were affected.
Sadiq Shah, associate vice president of the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development (ORIED), which secures funding for different initiatives that support students and faculty, said the process to get funding is very competitive and faculty members work very hard to put together proposals to send to different agencies that provide funds.
“We submit those proposals in response to the request for proposals that come out of those federal agencies, so if the government is shut down, those proposals won’t be coming out and therefore, we wouldn’t be able to respond,” Shah said.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), an agency that supports research and education in science and engineering, was one of many agencies affected by the partial shutdown.
If faculty needed assistance from foundation staff, such as questions about grants, there was no one there to answer.
Director of Projects and Undergraduate Research for the College of Engineering, Winny Dong said that during the shutdown, there were also webinars for faculty who were scheduled to conduct research, but because of the partial shutdown, that didn’t happen.
Dong said those webinars were key in helping faculty prepare to file for grant money.
“I have a grant due on March Fourth and I was supposed to have done a webinar in December to help me prepare and now the webinar won’t happen until next week, so I have a lot less time to prepare for those,” she said.
Since the government opened up again, the webinar has been rescheduled.
Mario Guerrero, associate professor of political science, said faculty members are worried about what another shutdown might bring.
“A lot of the external [logistics] like research and even some of the student advising programs can be affected but it’s hard to see from the ground exactly when stuff is federally funded,” Guerrero said. “It seems silly. A shutdown is political, but especially this one, [it] just seems like there was no reason for it.”
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