The University of Connecticut expects to lose $20 million in revenue this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic and between $50 to $120 million by the fall, according to University President Thomas C. Katsouleas.
Katsouleas told the Board of Trustees Wednesday that the financial struggles facing UConn have just begun.
“It is clear that tough financial times are ahead with unprecedented losses in revenue anticipated,” Katsouleas said.
At the end of March, UConn announced it would reimburse students for their housing and dining fees for this semester because of campus shutdowns amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The revenue loss for this spring was $30 million before the university received funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
In an effort to address the revenue losses, Katsouleas said UConn will be curtailing hiring and holding weekly meetings with the board chairman. A committee of deans and budget leaders has already met twice to develop principles they will use when making spending cuts.
Katsouleas said the board will try and avoid long-term harm to the institution by protecting this generation of students and their experience and maintaining future revenue streams.
While the university is struggling financially, so are many students. The federal government provided $10.7 million for students of all grade levels under the CARES Act.
Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Management Nathan Fuerst said the Department of Education was initially very vague about how the funds should be distributed. It decided that all recipients must have filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the funds must go directly to students.
UConn has identified close to 12,500 students who will receive between $500 and $1,000 from the federal government.
“The next step will be to begin notifying students of their receipt of those awards and how they will be distributed,” Fuerst said.
Katsouleas said the university, along with several others across the country, are also seeking to expand federal funds to give every federally funded research project a six month extension because of the pandemic.
Right now, much of UConn’s research is suspended, but critical research involving human subjects and research related to COVID-19 continues.
UConn also announced that it will hold an online-only graduation ceremony on May 9 headlined by women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma and senior Wanjiku Gatheru, the school’s first ever Rhodes Scholar.
No decision has been made yet about whether classes will resume on campus in the fall.