Takeaway: Read a fact sheet about Rutgers’ financial bonanza during the worst months of the pandemic (online version here and printable version here). Then share it with colleagues so they know that #RutgersHasTheMoney.
In Spring 2020, the outgoing Barchi administration claimed Rutgers was suffering a “fiscal emergency” that would cause an unprecedented $133.5 million operating deficit for the coming 2020–21 fiscal year. They said they had no choice but to lay off union workers, cut classes for adjuncts, and cancel negotiated raises. In his budget address earlier this year, President Holloway repeated the assertion that “we were looking at a deficit of $250 million” as the 2020–21 school year approached.
But the university’s official financial statement for 2020–21, released in May, shows that Rutgers had one of its best years ever financially, even as the pandemic raged, and layoffs and austerity upended the lives of students, staff, grad workers, and faculty:
- Instead of a budget deficit for 2020–21, Rutgers ended up with its biggest-ever operating surplus in a single year: $156.1 million.
- The administration’s “rainy day fund” of unrestricted reserves jumped 61.9 percent to $818.6 million, the highest level ever.
- Rutgers’ endowment had a banner year, with the net value of university investments climbing by $443.0 million.
These are just a few of the jaw-dropping takeaways from a fact sheet produced by our union’s amazing University Budget and Priorities Committee after they analyzed the financial statement. Click here for an online version of the fact sheet, and click here if you prefer a printable 8.5″x11″ version.
We urge all of you to take a few minutes and learn the key facts that we all need to know about Rutgers’ thriving finances. There’s simply no excuse for an administration that had an unprecedented banner year to claim they can’t find the funds to pay raises that keep up with inflation, adequately fund our libraries, or support graduate students delayed by the pandemic who will lose funding before completing their degrees.
Don’t believe it for a moment if the administration starts pleading poverty again. This university has enough money to meet ALL of our demands and invest in the core mission of the university. But we’ll need to organize together this fall if we want to win a strong contract. Find out how to get involved with your union at our new Contract 2022 Resource Center.
P.S. Another example of the administration’s warped priorities came into focus again last week when NorthJersey.com published their latest blockbuster exposé of out-of-control spending by Rutgers Athletics. If you can’t get behind the paywall for the main article, the main findings of NorthJersey.com’s investigation are summarized in this editorial that calls on the Rutgers administration and state and federal officials to rein in the athletics program.
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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