Wednesday, November 8, 2023

University of Arizona president says they wildly miscalculated their budget

From the most detailed write-up I saw about a confrontational meeting with incredulous staff:

The university had initially projected having 156 days of cash on hand for this fiscal year. As it turned out, their model was off by $240 million dollars. Instead, the UA has just 97 days of cash on hand, the new model estimates.

“I did know we were spending money, but I thought we had reserves to spend money on,” [the university president] said. “But this is a big miscalculation.”


[The university president] told faculty members that the university is losing money on students who in high school had a GPA between a 3.75 and 4.0 because of the amount of merit money and financial aid they are awarded.

“If you look at the band from 3.75 GPA to 4.0, there are a lot of students here that pay nothing,” he said. “We lose money on every one.”

Athletics has also been a drain on the financial resources of the university, [the university president] told the faculty, most of whom spoke out against the $55 million loan made by the university to the athletic department during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. That money, [the university president] said, has not been paid back “fast enough.”