The Dire Consequences of Federal Sequestration

US CapitolIn addition to state legislative issues, PROFS also watches federal issues as they relate to the university. Right now, PROFS is talking with the Wisconsin congressional delegation about how a possible federal sequestration (the reduction of federal funding to reduce the deficit) could have devastating consequences for UW-Madison. The Budget Control Act of 2011 solved the debt-ceiling crisis in August 2011 but will force $1.2 trillion across-the-board budget cuts in January unless Congress acts before then.

Research funding would be hard hit. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) estimates that R & D funding could be cut by $57.5 billion over 5 years, a cut of 8.4 percent. Non-defense spending comprises $21.9 billion of the total.  Cuts in 2013 are estimated to be $2.5 billion at the National Institutes of Health and $571 million at the National Science Foundation. These cuts have enormous implications for the country’s research institutions, including UW-Madison.

PROFS will continue to closely follow this issue and keep faculty informed as we get closer to the January deadline.