The Impact of Sequestration on Stony Brook University

Sequestration would have a devastating impact on research at Stony Brook University (SBU) and on our local, regional and state economies. The across-the-board cuts scheduled for January 2nd would devastate our research and health care enterprises and threatens to squelch innovation on our campus.

  • The federal government invests more than $145 million in research at SBU through the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other agencies. This funding fosters innovation, research, discovery and economic growth. It results in new technologies, improved therapies, cures for disease and countless products, ideas and materials that further drive the economy and increase our nation’s global competitiveness.

  • SBU estimates that sequestration could slash federal research funding on our campus by more than $12 million.

  • At $83 million, NIH is the largest source of federal funding to SBU. Sequestration threatens to have a negative impact of about $7 billion on this funding stream alone. NIH dollars fund crucial ongoing research in cancer, cardiovascular medicine, neuroscience, highly innovative imaging, diabetes, etc.

  • Federally-funded research at SBU's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) enabled our scientists to forecast and warn the public about the intensity and trajectory of hurricane Sandy. The National Weather Service used SBU research to predict the timing and severity of the storm surge and predict coastal flooding so that it could warn the public and take action in advance of the storm to save lives. Federal funding supports our ability to continue to run and improve upon computationally intensive numerical models to provide specially-tailored forecasts.

  • In addition to research funding cuts, deficit-reduction proposals that would reduce Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding threaten to reduce critical services and decrease physician training at a time when tens of millions of Americans will have access to health insurance and increase demand on an already-strained health care system.

  • If sequestration was still in effect in 2014 and beyond, the Pell Grant program would take a hard hit. Students could see their Pell Grants cut by more than $300 in 2014 and by $400 in 2014-2015.

  • SBU is a multi-faceted campus housing technology, innovation, clinical care and scientific and medical research. It is a driver of the Long Island and regional economy and would be especially hard hit if sequestration were allowed to happen.

Congress must work toward a solution that invests wisely in what is best for our nation while addressing the serious problem of deficit reduction. Research institutions like SBU are the answer to strengthening our economy and increasing our global competitiveness.