Taking Stock — Expected Budget Parameters for Academic Year 2022-2023
Date: June 9, 2022
To: The University Community
From: Provost Katherine Fleming and Executive Vice President Martin Dorph
It’s been a difficult couple of years. The pandemic was arguably the greatest challenge to institutions of higher learning in decades, including their finances. That was no less true at NYU.
But the effects were not merely institutional — they were personal, too. The changes upended our daily habits. Families had to cope with students of all ages having to learn at home, followed by uneasy and sometimes halting resumptions of in-person classes. Daily habits that were once second nature to us — for example, our daily commute — now give rise to second thoughts. Few of us have fully escaped the stress or the sense of isolation that COVID has brought.
Through prudent financial management over the last two years — careful budgeting, monitoring of expenses, spending reductions, restraints on hiring — NYU is at a point where we can feel comfortable about the stability of our finances barring something unforeseen. However, that careful management alone would not have gotten us to the sound place we find ourselves today; to a very large extent, our success is attributable to the dedicated efforts of faculty, administrators, researchers, staff, and students, who were steadfast yet flexible in the face of all the surprises and hardships that COVID hurled at us. We are truly and deeply grateful to you.
That is not to say that we are fully out of the woods. Some of the financial effects of the pandemic still linger, of course, exacerbated by the continuing unpredictability of the pandemic’s course. This past year saw strong enrollment, but less revenue than we had budgeted for in student housing and dining. Inflation, which has been swelling as COVID-19 seemed to recede, has emerged as a matter of looming concern; whether it is transitory or long-lasting, whether it will be confined to certain parts of the economy or more widespread, are all questions that will require ongoing attention as we monitor its impact.
For the coming year, we expect steady, strong enrollment; pre-COVID occupancy levels in student housing; Study Away participation at pre-COVID or near-pre-COVID levels; and increased energy costs. We also expect to have continuing COVID-related safety and health costs.
Overall, the proposed expense operating budget for Academic Year 2022-2023 (for all parts of the University other than NYU Langone Health and the Grossman School of Medicine) is $3.773 billion, up approximately 5.0% from the prior year. We shall continue to be cautious about both other-than-personal-services (OTPS) spending and hiring, though less stringently so than in recent years (the OTPS budget will increase by 3.4%, including budgeted increases for energy, leases and other contractual agreements). Continued strong enrollment, the stability achieved through our prudent financial management in the preceding couple of years, and accomplishments such as continued strong student demand with the most diverse admitted class in NYU’s history, exceeding $1 billion in R&D spending for the first time, and a record year in fundraising will enable us to move forward in 2022-2023 with investments in key priorities even as we carry on moderating the growth in cost of attendance. Among those investments are:
- Continued upgrading of the academic and physical infrastructure at Tandon
- The development of the Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center in Industry City in Brooklyn
- Preparing for the opening of 181 Mercer in 2022-23, with dozens of new classrooms, state-of-the-art spaces for performing arts education, new sports and recreation facilities, student housing, and faculty housing
- Renovating 25 W. 4th St. to become the new home for the College of Arts and Science
- Laying the groundwork for upgrading science teaching labs in the Silver Center
Compensation Increases, and COVID-related Bonus
For 2022-2023, we have recommended to the Board of Trustees for next year’s budget an AMI pool increase of 4.0% for faculty (other than adjunct faculty, whose increases are covered by a collective bargaining agreement); this figure, which is greater than recent years’, reflects concerns expressed by faculty — with which we empathize — about the need to ensure the competitiveness of NYU’s faculty salaries.
We have also recommended a 3.5% AMI pool increase for administrators, professional researchers, and non-union, non-exempt clerical and service staff not covered by collective bargaining agreements; in addition, as in the past, we are also recommending a 0.5% bonus pool for administrators to reward exceptional effort or service to the University.
This year, as a one-time addition to the merit pool, and in order to address retention issues and equity relating to our lowest-paid Tenured/Tenure Track and Continuing Contract faculty and full-time administrators, we are also providing a supplemental salary increase pool of 2.0% that will be applied to adjust the salaries of such employees in good standing. We estimate that slightly more than 15% of our Tenured/Tenure Track faculty, Continuing Contract faculty, and administrators will receive a supplemental salary increase. This supplemental increase will be provided at the same time as the AMI.
In addition, in recognition of the enormous hard work and dedication demonstrated since the start of the pandemic by so many members of the NYU community, we are recommending a one-time bonus to be paid on August 1 to all eligible full-time, non-bargaining unit faculty, researchers, and administrators in good standing. Generally, the bonus will be 3.0% of salary (pre-tax), but the minimum bonus will be set at $2,000 (pre-tax) and the maximum will be set at $5,000.
Academic Year 2022-2023 will mark the seventh year in a row that we will recommend that tuition and mandatory fees be set below budget planning expectations. Restraining the rate of tuition growth reflects the priority we have put on affordability since 2016.
For 2022-23, the overall increase in undergraduate cost-of-attendance will be 3.0%. This reflects an increase in tuition and mandatory fees of 3.0%, and an increase in room and board of 3.0%.
Financial Aid / Scholarship Aid / Institutional Grant Aid
In 2021-2022, NYU fully met the demonstrated need of all incoming first-year undergraduates for the first time. In addition, we used approximately $30 million in COVID-related federal funds to provide additional NYU scholarship aid to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who had the biggest “gaps” in their financial aid packages (i.e., the largest difference between institutional aid and cost-of-attendance minus expected-family-contribution).
In 2022-23, we will add another $50 million (coming principally from budgetary savings from our schools and administrative units) to the financial aid budget in order to 1) continue meeting the demonstrated need of first-year undergraduates, 2) provide additional scholarship aid to juniors and seniors with the biggest gaps, and 3) provide an “escalator” to next year’s sophomores so that their scholarship aid keeps pace with increases in tuition.
Fundraising and Endowment
Fiscal Year 2021 was NYU’s most successful year for fundraising: the University raised $988 million (including the Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Health), a record, and an increase of over 60% more than the prior year. Excluding the School of Medicine and NYULH, the University’s fundraising in FY 2021 was 50%, or $150 million, greater than the year prior. Among the gifts were two $50 million gifts for financial aid at Stern and a $25 million gift to support public service leaders.
Indications so far in Fiscal Year 2022 is that we should have another strong year.
As of August 31, 2021, the University’s endowment stood at $5.8 billion, up from $4.7 billion a year prior.
The Capital Budget for 2022-2023 is projected to be approximately $550 million. Of this figure, approximately $140 million is intended for capital repair and replacement projects. The proposed 10-year capital plan (FY22-FY31) anticipates spending of approximately $3.2 billion.
Among the most prominent changes we have experienced over the last two years is the shift in the way we conduct administrative work at the University. Even as we have resumed in-person teaching and learning and scholarship, we are aware that the future of remote and hybrid is very much on the minds of those administrators and staff involved in the University’s administrative operations. We are working on a set of guidelines and policies that will provide opportunities in some cases for continuing remote work for administrators and staff; we expect to share that in the next few weeks so that implementation may begin in Fall of 2022.
In the grimmest days of the pandemic, budgetary stability and administrative continuity sometimes seemed like an elusive goal. Yet here we are, preparing for a 2022-2023 academic year in which we are able to make important investments in academics, in faculty and other personnel, and in affordability and financial aid that will maintain NYU’s steep upward institutional trajectory. Some of that we owe to careful financial management over the preceding two years, but much of it we owe to all of you. Thank you all very much.