UConn Faces Challenges in Setting FY19 Budgets

UConn Today

With continued reductions in state financial support and rising fringe benefit costs, UConn’s proposed new FY19 budget represents a delicate balance of seeking efficiencies while working to protect the University’s academic mission, officials say.
Members of the UConn Board of Trustees’ financial affairs committee got an advance look Monday at the proposed FY19 budgets for Storrs, the regional campuses, and UConn Health, and the full board will vote on them on June 27.
The total FY19 budget of $2.4 billion is comprised of $1.36 billion for UConn Storrs and the regional campuses, and $1.04 billion for UConn Health, including John Dempsey Hospital and the schools of medicine and dental medicine.
Although budget officials were able to balance both spending plan proposals through a series of efficiencies and other moves, they warned that the next two years look more difficult as UConn continues to absorb factors it can’t control.
They include the unpredictability of state financial support and fringe benefit costs, the latter of which is substantially increased by the state’s effort to cover its unfunded pension liabilities statewide. The budget is also affected significantly this year by the requirement to fund pay raises in FY20 and FY21 under a statewide agreement with labor unions, and the clause in that agreement that prevents cost savings through layoffs.
The University’s overriding goal is to continue to protect and build UConn’s academic strength, which draws talented students and faculty, helps foster economic development for the state, and has helped propel it to No. 18 among the nation’s top public colleges and universities, as measured by the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking.
“It is remarkable how far we’ve come and what an asset we are to the state of Connecticut,” Scott Jordan, UConn’s chief financial officer and executive vice president for administration, told members of the finance board …

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