Trustees Approve Budget, Support for Strategic Initiatives

December 14, 2020 | News, UToday
By Staff

The University of Toledo finalized the permanent budget for the current fiscal year that invests in a number of strategic initiatives during the final meeting of the UToledo Board of Trustees in 2020.

The $722 million budget for fiscal year 2021 continues efforts to address deficits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic while prioritizing student success and mission-critical operations. UToledo had been operating on a temporary budget for the first half of the fiscal year.

The fiscal year budget adjusts revenue projections in auxiliaries, including housing, dining and parking, due to a de-densified on-campus student population amid the pandemic and reflects increased stabilization at The University of Toledo Medical Center for the second half of the year.

“Amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic we have taken a conservative approach to funding our operations to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our students and patients,” Interim President Gregory Postel said. “The diligence of our campus community to limit spending, better than expected state support and additional federal stimulus dollars have allowed us to be in a position to balance the budget and reallocate funding to our strategic priorities as we move forward.”

In recent weeks teams across the University have been working on key initiatives identified by the interim president to increase efficiencies, address operational challenges and embrace innovative ideas to prepare UToledo for a successful future.

The leaders of those groups presented their initial plans to the Trustees, which endorsed the reallocation of $20 million in one-time resources to invest in areas focused on the University’s academic mission through fiscal year 2022.

The Board of Trustees also approved a significant investment in UTMC for a new electronic medical record system for the hospital. UToledo will contract with EPIC, a leader among health record software companies, for $28.5 million for the new system that will enhance the processing of patient records across all of the hospital’s service units.

UToledo also is investing in the on-campus dining experience for students through its partnership with Chartwells Higher Education, which will fund an expansion of the Ottawa East Dining Hall. Trustees approved a $3 million project that will transform the dining hall into a 560-seat capacity central dining area, an increase from the current 180 seats. Set to open in fall 2022, it will be UToledo’s only all-you-care-to-eat dining hall and the Thompson Student Union will focus on retail options aligned with national trends and feedback from UToledo students.

The project is part of $10 million in capital improvements committed by Chartwells, which has already added Ace Sushi and Wild Pie pizza to the Student Union and expansion is underway on a full-service Chick-Fil-A and larger Starbucks seating area in Carlson Library that will open during spring semester.

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