Fall 2020 University Address

Update on the University Budget

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you for your dedication to our students, university and greater community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption from the coronavirus continues to impact your lives, those of your students and colleagues, and the members of our community and state. Amid this unparalleled disruption to your personal and professional lives, you stepped up to meet the needs of our students and to support your colleagues in a manner that brings honor to our profession and to our university.

During the global health emergency caused by COVID-19, collectively we took significant precautions to protect the health and safety of our students, employees, patrons, and visitors. The net financial impact to UNI through the end of the summer is approximately $15.5 million, following the receipt of emergency federal relief funding provided through the CARES Act. The short-term financial impact of COVID-19 as well as a revenue reduction from the state places serious financial challenges on the university.

In facing these difficult financial realities, we remain committed to the university’s budget principles developed in partnership with our shared governance groups and the President’s Budget Advisory Committee. These principles are:

  • Focus on student success and INVEST in the long-term health of the university; 

  • Honor our processes with shared governance and with bargaining units;

  • Ensure transparency and inclusion of ideas; and

  • Ensure investments, reductions, and reallocations are strategic.

These principles guided leaders at all levels of our university as we developed the university’s FY 2021 budget while remaining focused on the success of our students and protecting the personalized experience that defines a UNI education. Specifically, the university:

  • Reduced compensation of the university president, vice presidents and athletics personnel for one year;

  • Held salaries for P&S staff and annual appointees flat for the start of FY21; however, we will continue monitoring the university’s revenue to determine whether an adjustment may be feasible during the year;

  • Honored its commitment to the collective bargaining processes;

  • Identified efficiencies to re-prioritize operational expenses in the long-term health of the university and the success of our students; and

  • Placed a temporary hold on certain operating expenditures, including supplies and services, that enabled us to recoup some of the losses due to COVID-19.

Thank you to everyone involved in making these extremely difficult decisions to create a budget that protects the quality of the education we provide our students and the long-term health of our university. I am especially grateful to our university vice presidents, athletic director and members of the athletics department for the leadership they demonstrated through their personal sacrifice.

Thank you for the compassion and empathy you’ve shown your students and colleagues, for the sacrifices you’ve made to help the university exceed our obligations to our students, and for your steadfast commitment to support our students in successfully achieving their educational, professional, and personal life goals.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Nook,
President