Rao on what sequestration will mean to VCU

As the nation moves closer to nearly $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts, VCU’s president outlines how it may affect the University.

With the roughly $1 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts scheduled to take effect Friday as a result of the sequestration, VCU President Michael Rao recently released a letter outlining the possible ramifications those cuts may have on VCU and the VCU Health System communities.

“I have met with federal lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to discuss sequestration and how we must work together to prevent a worst-case scenario from becoming a reality,” Rao said. “It is important for everyone to understand the profound impacts of sequestration and have a voice in mitigating the dire consequences.”

Among those he lists is a possible $21 million reduction to VCU by the end of September. Many of these cuts would affect the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research. Between 100-200 positions funded by research grants could also be eliminated.

Rao said financial aid would be affected too, with over 700 students earning roughly five percent less aid if the sequestration occurs. A federal program that supports low-income students could also be cut by almost 33 percent.

Other federal cuts could have an indirect influence on VCU.

“It is also very likely that steep cuts to federal defense spending would reduce state income tax levels in Virginia, making it possible that state agencies like VCU would be asked to return some funds already appropriated in the state budget,” Rao said.


photo courtesy of VCU

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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