The loss of housing and dining revenue during the coronavirus pandemic is the major reason the five-campus University of Massachusetts system is facing a projected $335 million budget shortfall, officials said Wednesday.
System President Marty Meehan told a trustees committee that it will be critical for the university to remain disciplined in its financial management to remain financially sound.
"Just as we have employed a science- and fact-driven approach to keeping our students and staff safe during this public health crisis, we have based our budgetary decisions on what we know to be rather than what we hope to be," Meehan said in a statement.
Of the $335 million projected deficit, a projected $235 million is from a loss in housing and dining revenue because most students are learning remotely and not living on campus.
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University Treasurer Lisa Calise told the Committee on Administration and Finance that the system has adjusted its projections to include $76 million more in state funding; $21 million more in tuition and fees from better than expected enrollment; $80 million less in housing and dining revenue; and $19 million in expenses for coronavirus safety initiatives.
Trustees at Meehan's recommendation, have frozen tuition rates for in-state undergraduate and graduate students this year, dropping a planned 2.5% increase that would have generated nearly $15 million.
The system has campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell and a medical school in Worcester.