Dear USC Community,
Like many of you, university leadership has been following events in the U.S. Congress, as we approach the deadline for a government shutdown, set to begin on Sunday, October 1. At this time, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not provided final guidance to federal agencies about what actions they may or may not take during a shutdown. However, based on existing federal agency contingency plans as they relate to higher education, we anticipate minimal impact, particularly in the short term.
For the fall, financial aid has already been distributed. Our financial aid office continues to work through financial aid applications for the spring and expects no delay in informing students of their aid packages for the following semester. Students facing any type of hardship or those with specific concerns should reach out for support via Campus Support and Intervention.
We do not anticipate any major impact, at least in the coming weeks. The Office of Research and Innovation has posted its latest guidance here, and will add updates as needed. Any concerns specific to your area can be addressed by your Department of Contracts and Grants team.
F1 and J1 visa processing for our international students and scholars falls under the government’s fee-based services, which we expect to continue running largely uninterrupted. H-1B visa processing, however, will be partially impacted, which can potentially affect our international faculty and staff.
At this point, we expect government funding for programs like Medicare and Medicaid to continue during the shutdown, and do not expect a significant impact on our healthcare operations.
A team has been assembled to ensure we stay ahead of any potential longer-term contingencies, should the shutdown extend beyond several weeks. The goal of this contingency planning is to ensure, in the case of a protracted shutdown, that our academic, research, and healthcare enterprises can operate without major interruptions, and that our students, faculty, and staff are not materially impacted.
Should you have a specific concern that requires immediate assistance, please reach out to Campus Support and Intervention. Our faculty and staff can also reach out to the USC WorkWell Center to access mental health wellness support.
We are committed to keeping our community informed and will provide an update on these contingencies in due course, should it be necessary.
Andrew T. Guzman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
cc: Office of the President
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team