The federal government is back in business, and researchers are returning to government buildings and labs shuttered during the 16-day federal shutdown that ended late Wednesday.
But the standoff, which cost the economy billions and disrupted research projects and education plans nationwide, is likely to have lingering effects on academe. It could be weeks before government workers get through the backlog of civil-rights complaints and tuition-assistance claims, and grant making could be delayed.
In Washington, academics flooded the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian museums, eager to resume their research after a two-week delay. Research rooms at the National Archives remained closed, “to give staff time to ensure the proper protection of holdings,” according to the agency’s Web site…
Scientists who were locked out of government-run labs during the shutdown were back at work, along with thousands of furloughed employees of the U.S. Department of Education and the science agencies. Some branches of the military were again accepting claims for tuition assistance for active-duty service members, though the Marine Corps said it wouldn’t process any new applications until January 1, when the second fiscal quarter starts. <Read more.>