Coronavirus News: Rutgers University announces tuition freeze, cost cutting measures

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Rutgers University President Robert Barchi announced Friday a tuition freeze and cost-cutting measures the help the university address COVID-19 related fiscal challenges.

Barchi informed the Rutgers community that he, as well as senior leaders, will take a 5-10% reduction in salary, as well as utilize reserve funds, and freeze all new major construction projects.

"Leadership starts at the top," he said. "I will immediately reduce my salary by 10%. 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."

He also called for a budget for the coming fiscal year with no increase in tuition and fees.

The changes announced follow other steps the 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," Barchi said.

The university president estimates a $200 million loss in the current quarter (April 1 through June 30) and expects more significant losses in the next fiscal year.

"Rutgers has a 250-year legacy of resilience," Barchi said. "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."

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