Federal Shutdown Hits the Classroom, Limiting Research and Fieldwork

After Wednesday’s meeting of his research-methods class, Richard A. Williams, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, told students to light a candle in the university’s grotto, an outdoor stone hollow where community members pray, for the government shutdown to end soon. His request was in jest, but Mr. Williams said that the inconveniences brought by the government shutdown are affecting faculty members and students alike.

He and his students need U.S. census data for a project that he has assigned to classes for about a decade, but the Census Bureau’s Web site is unavailable because of the lapse in federal funds. Mr. Williams asks students in the class, which covers theory construction and data collection, to compare racial composition and economic status among neighborhoods or communities using census data in a final paper.

“I’m not expecting people to be too traumatized,” Mr. Williams said. “But it’s one of the many examples of the impact on people, and I think it’s an adverse impact on my students.” <Read more.>

Via Lindsay Ellis, The Chronicle of Higher Education.