Dear Fellow Members of the NYU Community,
Every budget is a balance of resources and needs, guided by obligations and priorities. With this document, the budget for New York University's Washington Square Campus*, we are sharing with you the key elements of our budget for fiscal 2010 (which covers the period September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010), and the needs, priorities, and external economic forces that shaped it.
The National Context
The past year has been among the most economically challenging in recent memory. The stock market fell sharply, credit became far harder to obtain, home values declined and foreclosures rose, and unemployment reached its highest level in many years.
The most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression has had a sharp affect on universities. Universities renowned for their academic excellence — including those also known for their great financial resources — have been deeply stung in this downturn. Many of the most prominent institutions of higher education have been forced to suspend building plans, freeze faculty hiring, reduce faculty pay, lay off staff, and dramatically cut their budgets in areas such as the arts and sciences — all but unthinkable steps for these institutions until now.
NYU's Priorities and Challenges
Though less vulnerable to the effects of endowment losses because our endowment contributes a much smaller percent of operating revenues than some of our peers, NYU is hardly immune from the effects of the economic downturn. However, knowing that a troubled world economy and rising unemployment could make it more difficult for our families to pay student charges, we made significant adjustments to our budget expectations for our principal sources of revenue, and crafted a set of guiding priorities for the fiscal 2010 budget (September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010):
- Maintain the University's academic momentum, by continuing
- to hire faculty,
- to build a distinctive academic capacity by making NYU a global network university,
- to improve the quality of student life and wellness;
- Restrain the growth in student charges (tuition, fees, room and board);
- Reduce administrative expenditures in favor of academics;
- Increase financial aid for our neediest students;
- Continue to invest in the physical plant and maintain construction programs;
- Continue the strategic planning that prepares the stage for future improvement and growth.
During the development of the fiscal 2010 budget, the University was required to take a number of steps to counterbalance revenue and expense shortfalls against the financial plan, while maintaining the budget's bottom line. These shortfalls, which totaled $120 million, emerged as a result of the recession and policy choices the University made to maintain its focus on the priorities listed above. In the following pages, we outline the basic elements of NYU's budget and describe the gap-closing actions that affect all members of the University community.
David McLaughlin, Provost
Michael C. Alfano, Executive Vice President
*All segments of the University except the NYU Langone Medical Center and School of Medicine