Faced with COVID-19 ‘financial disaster’, UW System pushes for borrowing capacity | Higher Education
The University of Wisconsin system estimates that COVID-19 cost campuses a net loss of $ 318 million between last March and the end of 2020.
Never has a financial landscape like the one facing the system now been a better case for giving campuses the power to borrow, officials at the UW Board of Regents said in a meeting on Thursday, just days away. before the start of the 2021-2023 state budget process when the government. Tony Evers unveils his proposal on February 16.
The system is unique in that it lacks borrowing capacity, a particularly difficult constraint given the short-term cash flow problems created by the pandemic.
UW-Madison has suffered more than half of the system’s net losses, or $ 176.5 million, since the pandemic struck last spring.
Its ancillary units, or entities that are normally autonomous and provide goods or services on campus, such as athletics, conference centers, accommodation, catering and parking, have suffered the greatest losses in revenue. UW-Madison also returned $ 51 million of its budgeted funding to the state.
COVID-19 has caused the “greatest financial disaster” the university has ever known, said UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank.
With federal stimulus funds, time off, salary cuts for leadership, travel restrictions and targeted budget cuts in different units, Blank said she was optimistic the financial gap could be closed over the course of time. the next two years. But she also renewed her argument in favor of granting the borrowing short term loans power to the university.