University leaders have been sharing details of the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic with the campus community, including the senior leadership team, academic deans, Faculty Senate, Finance and Strategy Committee (with representatives from Professional Staff Council, UToledo chapter of the American Association of University Professors and others), as plans are being finalized on how to address the multi-million dollar budget deficit.
While the full financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet known, to date UToledo has experienced at least a $20.93 million loss. For fiscal year 2021, University leaders expect to face a deficit of at least $36 million that must be addressed.
The immediate $20.93 million impact of the pandemic includes a potential reduction of state support, credits for housing and dining fees, lost revenue in auxiliaries without campus events, and decline in revenue from tuition and fees due to expected declines in summer enrollment.
In addition, the University has made the decision to reduce a number of fees for summer, including eliminating the distance-learning fee, facility fee, and all lab and technology fees. The general fee will be cut by approximately 35% for the summer term in recognition that students won’t have access to some campus resources, such as study abroad, Rec Center, student activities, Night Watch and Student Union. Other important student services such as tutoring, counseling and career services, remain available online. These fee adjustments will be made to students’ accounts in the next week, and any credit due to the student will be refunded.
“While these choices will further impact our budget deficit, it is the right thing to do acknowledging all of our students will be learning remotely and will not be able to access services such as the Rec Center or the Student Union during the summer term,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Other important student services such as tutoring, counseling and career services, remain available online.”
Additional details are expected to be released early next week regarding the actions necessary to address the budget challenges for the current fiscal year. The senior leadership team and academic deans have already taken a 20% salary reduction; however, because personnel is the University’s largest expense, additional actions such as reductions in pay, salary freezes, furloughs and layoffs will be necessary.
One-time support from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is expected to offset roughly 30% of the expenses due to the pandemic. The University is planning for how to address the ongoing financial challenges heading into the next budget year with a projected deficit of $36 million.
The ongoing fiscal realities of The University of Toledo Medical Center are another factor above and beyond the aforementioned $36 million deficit impacting the budget challenges. The University is currently undergoing a public request for proposal process for a potential acquisition, lease, management agreement or other transaction of its community hospital.
“These are challenging times as we — and everyone across the country and the world — respond to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Matt Schroeder, executive vice president for finance and administration and CFO. “We’ve made difficult decisions, and there are more on the horizon. We need to seize this as an opportunity to innovate and prioritize as we focus on our academic mission.”
Additional information is available at utoledo.edu/offices/budget.