Correction: This story was updated at 6:05 p.m. on Oct. 5 to correct earlier statements made about funding changes in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs. The headline has been updated and clarifying statements from James Wimbush, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs have been added.
IU-Bloomington’s total budget for this academic year, publicly released three months later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is $1.7 billion, 0.1% smaller than last year’s.
IU President Michael McRobbie mandated general funds — the largest funding group for most academic departments, programs and other various expenses — be cut back 5% for all campuses.
While the university’s total budget decreased 0.9%, the amount dedicated to the university’s general fund across all campuses fell 1.9% to $2.12 billion, and the IU-B general fund fell only 1.5% to $16.8 million.
As a response to the pandemic, the university froze hiring and salary increases in April. Sam Adams, associate vice president for budget and planning, said this is because academic compensation is the university’s largest expense — in the new budget, it totals more than $570 million, or approximately 27.1% of the general fund.
Revenue from tuition and student fees fell 1% to $1.44 billion. While not finalized, revenue from all sources is forecasted to fall $40 million.
The largest relative change in Bloomington’s general fund came from the Vice President’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. The Bloomington section of the department saw a 25% decrease in the amount of funding it received from the general fund. The office includes IU-Bloomington’s culture centers, the Hudson & Holland Scholars Program and the Groups Scholars program. However, a separate DEMA account listed under university administration saw an increase in funding.
James Wimbush, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, said the transfer from the Bloomington budget account to the overall university account was intentional.
“This process aligns with the mission of OVPDEMA and makes clear that, as a university-wide organization, we serve all IU campuses,” he said.
According to IU Spokesperson Chuck Carney, the overall OVPDEMA budget was reduced 1.5%, around $120,000, due to COVID-19 budget cuts.
The university also directed an additional $4.5 million toward student financial aid, allocating $397 million in total. This includes funding from endowments such as those managed by the IU Foundation.
Since the budget was released three months after the start of this fiscal year, IU started spending money for this academic year before its financial plan was finalized. Adams said the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to predict how much money IU would receive from tuition and state appropriations.
“We were in the new fiscal year before we actually had an approved budget because we needed more time with the uncertainties around COVID to build that budget,” Adams said.