MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — University of Minnesota administrators are bracing for a loss of as much as $315 million in expected revenue from a $3.8 billion budget because of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the most severe forecast presented Tuesday to the Board of Regents.
The virus forced the university to close campus and switch indefinitely to online instruction, a shift that has occurred at institutions all across the country.
The best-case scenario laid out at special meeting of the board conducted by video conference was a $75 million loss if the pandemic were to subside later this spring, thus allowing regular operations to resume this summer, a local news outlet reported. Brian Burnett, senior vice president for finance and operations, said that projection was “becoming a more unlikely case each day.”
The more moderate forecast of a return to normal by the start of the fall semester calls for a $160 million hit. The projected $315 million loss was calculated for a limitation on activity due to the virus that lasts through the end of the year. That figure comprises a hit of $85-90 million in tuition, $75 million for athletics, and $45-60 million in non-sports event cancellations.
The potential $75 million loss for athletics would account for about 58% of that department’s budgeted income, mainly due to decreases in ticket sales and NCAA member distribution.
Associate vice president of university finance Julie Tonneson said the worst-case forecast calls for a decrease in newly enrolled students — freshmen or transfers — of as much as 20%. University President Joan Gabel said she’ll propose a tuition freeze for the next academic year.
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)