Seton Hall University Board of Regents on Thursday said it recently approved a $305.1 million operating budget for Academic Year 2020-2021 (AY21) that reflects a revenue decrease and expense reductions implemented due to the ongoing ramifications related to COVID-19.
University President Joseph Nyre said the actions represent thoughtful planning by committees composed of university-wide representation, yet will not fully balance the AY21 budget. Seton Hall expects to sustain $8 million – $12 million in losses for AY21.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Seton Hall said it took great care to anticipate the financial implications and meet them with proactive measures such as a university-wide hiring freeze, a delay of major planned capital projects and expenditures, a freeze on all nonessential travel, a comprehensive review of all contracts with outside vendors, the suspension of salary increases, voluntary salary reductions by the Executive Cabinet, and a furlough program affecting 145 administrators staff members.
Nyre said for the upcoming academic year there will be a continuation of these measures including an extension of Seton Hall’s non-essential travel freeze, an extension of the current hiring freeze, and a continuation of the university’s freeze on salary increases, all through AY21; an across-the-board reduction in operating expenses for each division;and an extension of the ongoing employee furlough program through July 31, 2020.
In a letter, Nyre spelled out three additional cost-saving measures the university is taking.
Effective June 30, 2020, there will be a 10 percent reduction in its workforce of administrators and staff members throughout the university, there will also be a tiered salary reduction for non-union employees beginning July 1, 2020, and ending on June 30, 2021. Seton Hall will also institute a temporary reduction of 403b employer contributions and a concordant reduction of employee mandatory contributions through the end of AY21 for non-union employees.
The university will implement an increase in student costs for the 2020-21 Academic Year by 3.5 percent for tuition and 3 percent for room and board.
“These difficult yet prudent measures demonstrate that Seton Hall is committed to students, community members and the academy,” said Nyre. “Rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition, our balanced actions and continued commitment to excellence will ensure the university emerges from these challenging days as a stronger, more nimble institution that demonstrates the increasing value of a Seton Hall education.”
The temporary fiscal actions detailed above will be reevaluated for elimination, extension or increase once a full net tuition and fee revenue forecast for AY21 is developed this fall.