The board was able to approve balanced budgets for the University of Connecticut and UConn Health for fiscal 2022 due to a generous amount of federal and state aid and an anticipated return to near-zero levels. pre-pandemic of student life in residence.
“It’s actually kind of a low-drama result of a dramatic year,” University principal Scott Jordan Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, said Wednesday at a board meeting.
In 2021, the university faced a deficit of $ 75.5 million, mainly due to a loss of income from housing and food services during the coronavirus pandemic. They managed to raise $ 45 million through mitigation strategies, including hiring freezes, management leaves, the elimination of college programs, a cut in the sports budget and cuts in departmental spending. Additional federal funding of $ 31 million brought the deficit to $ 0.
The university will use state $ 409 million to pay salaries and benefits for 47 percent of its employees. Tuition fees will represent 29.4% of UConn’s budget in 2022 and will be used for tuition fees. The rest will come from a combination of grants and contracts, coronavirus relief funds, and income from sales and business activities.
Jordan said it expects housing capacity to reach around 85% of pre-pandemic levels. He said they did not foresee any increase in wages through collective bargaining.
“As we think about the risk of going into 22, it’s all about reopening at full capacity,” Jordan said. “We have every reason to be optimistic and to reach that number.”
Jordan said that this year the university’s $ 28 million structural deficit, mainly due to the social benefit costs of unfunded legacy costs, will be canceled with the help of federal coronavirus funds and a reduction of 2% for departments at all levels.
Tuition fees for UConn students will increase by $ 625 next year, as part of a five-year plan to increase tuition rates agreed to in 2019. However, the university will provide $ 14.3 million. additional student aid sponsored by the university compared to the previous year. . The total amount of federal, state and university student aid for 2022 is $ 225.6 million. According to UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz, 77% of UConn undergraduates received financial aid in 2020.
Jordan said it initially planned to cut tuition fees by $ 7 million, but instead decided to increase financial aid by $ 14 million. The fee increases include a $ 4 per semester fee to fund the UPass program, which allows UConn students to take public transportation using their UConn credentials, $ 1 per semester for directory fees, and $ 28 per semester to fund seven new positions for student mental health services, a recommendation from the President’s Task Force on Mental Health and Wellness.
The capital budget of $ 275.1 million includes $ 215 million in government bonds, which will go towards investments in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, including the completion of the Gant Science Building and other deferred and residential maintenance projects. The university will fund repairs and construction of additional facilities in the new hockey arena using $ 56 million in faculty innovation grants, philanthropy and additional university funds.
The board of directors also voted to approve several capital project budgets, including a $ 763,000 resurfacing of the track at Sherman Field, $ 1 million in improvements to the north and south parking garages on two years, and a $ 1.76 million replacement of the rooftop unit at the Musculoskeletal Institute building. Approximately $ 830,000 of this funding will come from Eversource rebates.
In addition, the university is allocating $ 1.268 million to fit out the kitchen and dining room at the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center. Jordan said this would allow student-athletes to have their meals at the UConn restaurant rather than having to bring food to the center.
“It’s a good business deal for the University,” Jordan said at a financial affairs committee meeting on Wednesday.
Funding comes from philanthropic donations, and Jordan said they hope to prepare him for the next basketball season. He predicted it would “pay for itself” in less than four years.
UConn’s healthcare system received $ 50 million from the state legislature to offset a deficit of $ 114.9 million in 2021 – a combination of COVID costs and unfunded legacy costs, or retirement benefits and costs that have been transferred over time. The system saved an additional $ 61 million through mitigation strategies, including financial improvement plan save $ 48.8 million and $ 10 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.
For the 2022 budget, the system was able to use coronavirus relief funds, which stood at $ 73 million, to offset a deficit of $ 61.1 million. An additional $ 18.9 million was used to offset losses in fiscal 2020, leaving the system with an overall net of $ 100,000.
The budget assumes no salary increases and also reflects a 3.5 percent increase in tuition and fees for students in the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry. It assumes an increase in clinic income as people return to normal hours in the wake of the pandemic.
UConn Health chief financial officer Jeffrey Geoghegan told the meeting they had gone “from doctor to doctor” to look back at patient levels from 2019 to develop forecasts for the ramp-up. expected clinical income. He also said that they are establishing a retail and specialty pharmacy, which will lead to more business at UConn Health.
However, Geoghegan warned that unfunded legacy costs would continue to negatively impact the university in the future. He said UConn Health expects a structural deficit of $ 40 million in 2023.