UI System Taking Steps to Reduce COVID-19 Financial Hit

By Connor Ciecko

The University of Illinois System sent a Massmail on Tuesday outlining the budgetary situation of the three campuses following the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps being taken to mitigate the impact.

According to the email, the UIUC campus is expecting a total loss of over $81 million and this number is expected to rise as the year continues.  Housing and concessions have been some of the largest losses so far, and university programs such as camps and entertainment activities are also seeing financial hits.

In order to mitigate the financial stresses, university leadership is implementing plans to preserve tuition and to dig into cash reserves to help lift strain on the system.  In addition to these, personnel costs are being reduced by cutting travel expenses and evaluating the new hire process to fill only critical positions at this time.

Chancellor Robert Jones and all five vice chancellors, UI system president and vice presidents, Director of Athletics Josh Whitman, Lovie Smith and Brand Underwood will be taking a 10 percent pay cut for the next six months as the university works to recover.  The money saved from their salaries will go toward a relief fund to support students experiencing financial challenges.  The state of Illinois has granted the university its full annual budget, however this still must be approved by the governor.

The university will hold a live-streamed budget meeting Friday, June 5 at noon.

Photo by Liam Dwyer