NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers President Robert Barchi today announced sweeping cost-cutting measures to help the university address the immediate fiscal challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and called for a budget for the coming fiscal year with no increase in tuition and fees.
Barchi informed the university community that he and senior leadership will take a 10% reduction in salary and that other senior leaders will reduce their pay by 5%, according to a press release from the university.
The president called for utilizing all appropriate reserve funds, as well as a freeze on all new major construction projects, among other steps.
Barchi announced the cost-cutting measures in a letter to the members of the university’s governing boards, faculty and administration. The changes announced today follow other steps the state university has already taken, including a university-wide hiring freeze, a ban on non-negotiated and out-of-cycle pay increases, and a ban on all discretionary travel and other expenses.
“Rutgers will weather this storm, but our university — and indeed all of higher education — confronts perhaps the greatest academic and operational challenge in its history,” President Barchi said.
“Although much remains to be determined about the coming budget year, one thing is certain — we cannot and will not close this gap on the backs of our students and their families. To that end, I am making this commitment today: we will recommend to the Board of Governors a 2021 budget that freezes undergraduate tuition and fees at their current levels."
The university is bracing for the possibility of an estimated $200 million loss in the current quarter (April 1 through June 30, 2020) and expects more significant losses in the next fiscal year.
“Rutgers has a 250-year legacy of resilience. I have no doubt that Rutgers will evolve as an even stronger institution, but we face difficult immediate challenges and uncertain long-term issues that will require shared commitment, vision and sacrifice,” Barchi noted.
“Leadership starts at the top. I will immediately reduce my salary by 10%,” Barchi said. “The chancellors and executive vice presidents, as well as the athletic director and head coaches for football and men’s and women’s’ basketball will also take a 10% reduction in salary over the next four months. The roughly 100 senior administrators who comprise the university’s administrative council will similarly take a 5% pay cut over the same period.".