The COVID-19 Financial Impact working group continues to assess the financial impact of COVID-19. Current modeling reflects pandemic-related budget impacts of approximately $200 to $300 million dependent on fall planning scenarios. Revenue losses of $230 to $280 million include slight declines in fall enrollment, summer sessions, housing, dining, state support, UNEX, and ticket sales. While tuition, housing, dining and event revenue has the potential to rebound as we emerge from the pandemic, the proposed ten percent cut (approximately $41 million) in funding from the State of California is deeply concerning due to its size and likely duration.
The campus is also making important investments of approximately $30 million in remote learning, technology to support remote work, COVID-19 testing, health surveillance, and facilities management to protect the well-being and achievement of our faculty, students and staff.
The campus is modeling mitigation strategies including enrollment preservation measures such as “Semester in the Cloud” and focused admission management. In addition to enrollment measures, the campus is pursuing federal assistance through FEMA and the CARES Act. Additionally, campus leadership is modeling the effect of human resource actions such as the recently announced hiring freeze. Similar to many of our university peers, UC Berkeley has deferred certain capital projects to preserve cash reserves required to support operations during the COVID-19 crisis. After the application of mitigation strategies, a deficit of approximately $150 to $200 million for FY21 is currently projected.
As the Chancellor announced in April, we are adjusting the annual campus budget process. Due to the ongoing uncertainty around the planning for the fall, the budget process has been delayed.
For more information about the budget and additional detail please see this recent update from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.