Fiscal 2011 Budget

From the Provost and the Executive Vice President

Dear Fellow Members of the NYU Community,

An institution’s budget is a balance of resources and needs.  We are pleased to share with you in the pages that follow the key elements of the budget for New York University's Campus* for fiscal 2011 (which covers the period September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011).

The memories of the worst moments of our nation’s economic downturn are still fresh and vivid, and the impact is still being felt in the housing market and in unemployment rates, among other sectors of the economy.  Nonetheless, careful management of NYU's budget during this period has allowed us to avoid many of the more disruptive measures taken by peer institutions: our University has continued to hire tenured and tenure-track faculty, continued work on major capital projects, and continued to plan for, and break ground on, new projects.  Also, unlike many of our peers, NYU has not had to make required cash contributions to endowment investments or to borrow money to meet its working capital requirements. 

The efforts to re-engineer the University’s administrative systems -- which began before the nation’s fiscal crisis and were recently concluded -- are producing annual savings in the University's administrative budget of $66 million a year; these savings were critical to maintaining the University’s forward momentum.   Regrettably, we were not able to achieve these savings without some 300 administrative job eliminations, but nearly half of those whose jobs were eliminated were redirected to other open positions in the University. 

The savings efforts in the schools that began in fiscal 2010 will continue in fiscal 2011.  Those efforts will enable continued academic advances such as faculty hiring.

As noted, throughout this challenging period, NYU has not only continued to hire tenured and tenure-track faculty, but also carried on its capital construction program without interruption.  In fall 2010, new projects that will be dedicated include the NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology; Wilf Hall, the new home for several centers for legal studies at the Law School; and a new co-generation plant that will provide electricity, heating and cooling to up to 37 buildings on the Washington Square Campus while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The University is also well along in the construction of other buildings, as noted in the capital budget section of this report.  In addition, planning for future academic needs is proceeding: in fiscal 2011, we start the public approvals process for NYU 2031: NYU in NYC, our strategic space-planning framework.

NYU has accomplished all of this while keeping the fiscal 2011 increase in  combined charges for undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board to 3.1% - the lowest rate of increase in 21 years, and well below the 3.9% average rate of increase of 20 peer institutions.

There is much financial pressure nationally on the higher education sector, and times will likely continue to be challenging for a school such as ours, which must deal with the constraints of being tuition-dependent while simultaneously having high aspirations for reaching new levels of academic excellence.  This pressure will require us to remain vigilant about our budget in order to consolidate and derive the most benefit from the savings and gains we have already achieved, while continually taking advantage of new opportunities to deliver administrative services at lower cost and with higher quality.

The yearly budget process is an important part of part of supporting the academic enterprise.  We trust you will find this outline of the basic elements of NYU's fiscal 2011 budget to be informative.


David McLaughlin, Provost
Michael C. Alfano, Executive Vice President

* All parts of the University other than the NYU Langone Medical Center (i.e., the School of Medicine and the Hospitals)