Indiana University trustees approve operating budget for 2020-21

The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved the university's operating budget for the new fiscal year.

John SejdinajView print quality image
John Sejdinaj. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

The fiscal year 2020-21 operating budget calls for spending $3.7 billion on IU's campuses around the state, a reduction of $35 million from the last operating budget. This starting base budget reflects expense reduction and mitigation measures announced by President Michael A. McRobbie in April, including salary and hiring freezes, and delays on capital investment.

The approved budget continues support for academic programs, research, student life investments and financial aid. It also includes additional resources for measures necessary to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The budget covers the fiscal year that began July 1.

IU Vice President and Chief Financial Officer John Sejdinaj and Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning Samuel Adams presented the budget to the trustees.

The budget increases financial aid by 3 percent, reflecting IU's commitment to support students during an especially difficult period. While funds are expected to be lower from state appropriations and auxiliary enterprises (which includes services such as parking and the IU Auditorium in Bloomington), contract and grant revenue is expected to rise as IU continues to see record growth in research proposals and awards. That growth, combined with expense reductions, will allow IU to continue funding student aid and other areas to support teaching and learning.

Adams noted during the presentation that with the focus on efficiency and reallocation of funds across IU campuses over the past six years, the university has reallocated $107 million. For this proposed budget, the campuses also exceeded McRobbie's request of cutting 5 percent, reducing expenses by $94 million -- about $14 million more than targeted.

Sejdinaj said his office will be closely monitoring for potential changes in the next year, given the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic. Factors that could impact revenue and expenses include overall housing and enrollment numbers across the university, the extent and duration of necessary testing and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the impact of athletics schedule changes, and any adjustments in mode of academic delivery.