President Obama signed a deal this Wednesday to end the government shutdown and allow it to continue borrowing money until Feb. 7, 2014. The deal ended a standoff that could have affected the global economy, including Stony Brook University.
SUNY Distinguished Professor of political science Jeffrey Segal said this means nothing will change for Stony Brook.
But the deal is temporary and the United States may face the same situation of government instability next February. The government is only funded through Jan. 15.
“If the government defaults on its debt, we could fall back into another recession which would hurt funding for all public institutions,” Segal said, adding that falling back into recession would also mean higher tuition.
Vice President for External Relations Elaine Crosson also believes that defaulting would have a significant effect on New York’s state government and thereby Stony Brook, which receives a significant portion of its funding from the state.
When interviewed last week, she said, “there is no immediate impact so far of the 10 day shutdown, but we will feel an immediate impact from the default.”
Stony Brook’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps usually has trainers from Hofstra University come to campus three days a week, but has not been able to since the government shutdown.
ROTC Public Affairs Officer Brian Wayne Cheung said that the trainers have not been able to use the government vehicles assigned to them, preventing them from driving to Stony Brook. “They have been trying to teach a class over Skype, but it’s a logistical nightmare,” Chung said.
Cheung is required to attend the Leadership Development and Assessment Course next summer, but the government shutdown affected his training for the course.
“It’s important for us because you know if you do well in it, it determines your future branch choices in the army,” he said. “We are kind of ill prepared for LDAC next summer.”
Cheung and the other cadets may encounter the same situation if the government shuts down again in January.
John Rizzo, professor of economics & preventive medicine and chief economist at the Long Island Association, said the debt ceiling deal is just a way to kick aside the issue for a few months. “What we need is a longer term commitment to solve this issue than just a few months.”
According to Rizzo, a recession would cause increased unemployment, which means children education investment will suffer.
“We have all just gone through a recession and the impact on the university was felt in many different ways. So I think we would brace ourselves for more of what we just endured since 2008,” Crosson said.
Correction: Oct. 21, 2013 An earlier version of this article misspelled the ROTC Public Affairs Officer’s name. It is Brian Wayne Cheung.