Rutgers announces tuition freeze, leadership pay cuts; to consider furloughs, layoffs

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has led Rutgers University to cut some top salaries and freeze tuition for the 2020-21 academic year, according to an announcement from President Robert Barchi on Friday.

Rutgers said it anticipates a shortfall of $200 million in budget revenue over the remainder of fiscal 2020, including freezing of appropriations from the state for the public university, New Jersey’s largest.

Barchi said, however, that, while university officials are preparing for the coming fiscal 2021 by anticipating double-digit budget decreases, he will not close the revenue gap at students’ expense.

“To that end, I am making this commitment today: We will recommend to the board of governors a 2021 budget that freezes undergraduate tuition and fees at their current level,” Barchi said in his announcement.

In addition, Barchi said, top college leaders, including himself, the campus chancellors, executive vice presidents, athletic director and three head coaches — football and both men’s and women’s basketball — will take 10 percent pay cuts for four months.

In addition, vice presidents, provosts, vice chancellors, select deans and the New Brunswick-based athletic leadership will take 5 percent cuts.

Finally, the university will explore personnel options such as furloughs and layoffs, and continue freezes on hiring and noncontractual pay raises.

The president also noted that he intends to use limited reserve funds whenever possible to offset lost revenue, as well as other steps that include freezes on new capital construction and discretionary spending and a continued ban on university-sponsored travel.

Barchi is slated to retire at the end of the academic year.

Read more from ROI-NJ on coronavirus: