Friday Week: June 26

Author: Andy Fuller

Money Feature
The federal government initiated an unprecedented response that committed more than $3 trillion to countering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Was this response enough to stave off a rise in poverty, and if so, for how long?

Faculty Expert 1:  Jim Sullivan

One constant that continued from the University’s pre-pandemic world into today’s new normal has been the demand for Notre Dame faculty experts on a variety of subjects.

For example, the New York Times relied, in part, on Notre Dame’s James X. Sullivan — the Gilbert F. Schaefer College Professor of Economics — in reporting on its front page Tuesday how the unprecedented expansion of federal aid prevented the anticipated rise in poverty to follow pandemic-driven unemployment — the highest level since the Depression.

Professor Sullivan, along with Bruce D. Meyer and Jeehoon Han of the University of Chicago, analyzed Census Bureau survey data that showed incomes rose among poor Americans in April, despite cresting unemployment, as government payments began. 

Full New York Times story here.

Their work was also the subject of a Notre Dame news release that was directed to the Times’ Jason DeParle and led to his story.

Full press release here.

Faculty Expert 2:  Ray Offenheiser

The pandemic also brought long lines to food banks filled with people not accustomed to queuing for charitable assistance.  Ray Offenheiser, the William J. Pulte Director of the Pulte Institute for Global Development at Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, writes in the current issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy how Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief program, already served 14 percent of the population before the pandemic. 

“What’s new is that those receiving this aid are no longer just the invisible immigrants, elderly, homeless, and working poor.  They are our neighbors: a dental assistant single mother of two, a web designer father of four, a lawyer, and a nonprofit executive, all jobless and lacking health insurance during a pandemic,” Offenheiser observed.

Full essay is here.

Letters from the Main Building

  • Today, Friday, June 26: Message from Provost Burish, Provost-elect Miranda, EVP Cullinan and VP Hoffmann Harding, “to provide an update on several key health protocols at the University.” Full letter here.
  • Wednesday, June 24: Message from Father Jenkins, “Let us become more fully the Notre Dame we seek to be.” Full letter here.
  • Tuesday, June 23: Message from Provost Burish, Provost-elect Miranda, and EVP Cullinan, on reopening the University: Classroom assignments, exams time shift, fall teaching. Full letter here.
  • Monday, June 22: Message from VP Hoffmann Harding to students on returning to campus. Full letter here.

Paul J. Browne is the vice president for public affairs and communications