Congress voted on Feb. 14 to avoid a second government shutdown of 2019. While it may seem like Lehigh is far enough removed from Washington to be affected by a shutdown, the university was directly impacted in two ways.
During the 35-day government shutdown that ended on Jan. 25, Lehigh was unable to receive grants from certain government organizations. Many organizations, such as NASA and the National Science Foundation, faced delays in the issuance of new awards due to lack of available staff during the shutdown.
A shutdown also delays consular processing for anyone seeking an H-1B visa. These visas are reserved for highly educated professionals from foreign countries to work in specialty jobs in the United States. Lehigh is in the process of hiring new professors, some of which could have been impacted by these visa delays.