In a lengthy Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday, University of Connecticut officials said the school faces a $50 million deficit, the largest in school history.
Addressing the issue there’s set to be a range of actions, including using reserves, pursuing state and federal assistance and cuts.
Beginning in July through the 2021 fiscal year, managers will be furloughed one day a month. Senior managers, including school President Tom Katsouleas, will be furloughed two days a month.
“It’s alarming as lots of things are, kind of in the wake of pandemic closures and things like that,” said UConn graduate student Paula Weinman.
The cuts also affect the athletic department which was asked to cut about 25% of its budget, approximately $10 million. To achieve that, four sports will be eliminated: men's cross country, tennis, swimming & diving, and women's rowing.
“It’s super disappointing. I mean if you want it from my opinion I think they’ve just mishandled it completely,” said UConn Student Max Tempkin, a former member of the swimming team.
The move will be done at the conclusion of the 2021 season and will affect 124 student athletes. Athletic Director David Benedict described it as a, “very difficult but necessary decision.”
The plan for returning in the fall semester was also laid out, calling for a blend of in-person classes with online learning. In-person classrooms will be at 30% capacity.
“I think the experience is drastically going to be changed,” said UConn graduate student, Jonathan Nip.
Dining hall seating areas will be eliminated and there will be takeout meals only. Residence halls will also be dramatically reduced to 75 or 80 percent capacity at best. Some students may not get housing at all.
“That would be a shame if you’re a freshman and you don’t get to actually move out of your home and come here and live on campus and eat in a dining hall and things like that,” said Tempkin.
Classes are set to resume August 31 with those living on campuses required to move in two weeks prior, to quarantine. Students who wish to take a year off, need to declare by July 1.