Q&A from press conference with new Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway
Bridgewater Courier News
The Rutgers Board of Governors on Tuesday approved a revised $4.45 billion budget for 2020-21.
It adjusts for restored proposed cuts in state support; a loss of dining, housing and other revenues and cost increases related to the pandemic.
The amended budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1 includes $86.6 million in state revenue that restores a previously proposed cut in state operating aid to the university which totals $437 million, about 10% of Rutgers’ overall budget.
During its first meeting of the new academic year, Rutgers University Board of Governors approved an updated budget with a $97 million deficit, a decrease of $57 million. Pictured is a slide of a report about the budget, which includes layoffs of library staff and additional adjuncts. (Photo: Bob Makin/staff photo)
The adjusted budget assumes other cost savings, including a wage freeze and additional furloughs intended to preserve jobs for the university’s 23,600 employees; continued prohibition on business travel, ongoing suspension of new capital projects and a review of active projects and a freeze on discretionary spending related to university operations.
The budget reflects a shortfall of $97 million in revenues, including more than $43 million in reductions in health care clinical revenue due to a falloff in elective surgeries, procedures and other medical services; a significant reduction in tuition revenue and reductions from student housing, dining and athletics, according to the university.
“The pandemic has had a profound impact on finances at all colleges and universities, and Rutgers is no different,” said Michael Gower, chief financial officer for the university. “We have made good progress in closing the gap while, at the same time, we froze tuition and reduced fees for most of the 70,000 students who study and learn at Rutgers.”
“Even with the restoration of $86.6 million in previously proposed cuts in state operating aid to the university, we are still in a fiscal emergency requiring extraordinary steps to fill the largest financial hole the university has ever experienced,” he added.
The budget includes the elimination of jobs and courses and the consolidation of buildings, Gower said. Additional adjunct professors, 300 of whom lost their jobs in April, as well as library staff, are expected to be laid off. Dozens of speakers opposed the layoffs.
Significant university cost increases include student financial aid, student health and mental health services, technology needs for students and faculty in remote instruction and supplies and materials for proper disinfecting of campus facilities and supplying appropriate personal protective equipment, according to the university.
READ: Furloughed Rutgers employees’ identities stolen
In its first meeting of the academic year and its first with President Jonathan Holloway, the board also approved the appointments of Prabhas Moghe to executive vice president for academic affairs and Denise Hien as the inaugural holder of the Helen E. Chaney Chair in Alcohol Studies.
A Rutgers faculty member since 1995, Moghe will continue to serve as a distinguished professor and provost of Rutgers University–New Brunswick and executive vice chancellor for research and academic affairs.
Hien, a leader in the field of post-traumatic stress and addictions, was appointed as the inaugural holder of the Helen E. Chaney Chair in Alcohol Studies. Hien is director of Rutgers University’s Center of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies, associate dean for academic affairs, and professor in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology.
Email: [email protected]
Bob Makin covers Rutgers for MyCentralJersey.com and the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey. To get unlimited access to his informative and entertaining work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
Read or Share this story: https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/education/college/rutgers/2020/10/07/rutgers-university-approves-revised-4-45-billion-budget/3627646001/