By Eli Hughes–
University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi shared some high points from the recently approved 2021-22 budget on June 29. The budget was approved at the June 24 Board of Trustees meeting and projects an operating budget of $1.3 billion.
“Despite dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that changed our university and our world in many ways, I am pleased that our trustees and our administration remain committed to advancing programming and enhancements that will benefit our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends,” Bendapudi said in the email announcement.
For students, the budget includes a tuition increase of $104 per semester, which Bendapudi says will be covered by funding from the CARES Act. Each returning student will receive a minimum grant of $400 per semester through this funding and high need students could receive up to $1,500 per semester.
Housing, dining, and parking prices will not increase for students this year and the university will provide laptops for 700 first-year students with high financial needs.
Faculty and staff will receive a 1% base salary increase beginning August 1 with the possibility for another increase in January 2022. The university will also restore contributions to retirement plans to where they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Employee retirement benefits, reduced as part of cost-reduction efforts in 2020, will be fully restored on July 1 to an automatic university contribution of 7.5% for eligible employees, with an additional 2.5% match for employee contributions,” Bendapudi said.
There will be no parking increase, health insurance cost increase or change in employment tuition remission for faculty and staff.
Bendapudi concluded the email by showing appreciation towards the Office of Finance and Administration for their work handling the financial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also gave her thanks to the entire U of L community.
“I appreciate the hard work of our Office of Finance and Administration and the many faculty, staff and administrators who took great care of their unit finances during the past year. Together, we are making decisions that will promote the long-term health of our university,” Bendapudi said.
“Most importantly, I want to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to the University of Louisville. You are the reason we exist. And you are the reason we will thrive now and in the future.”
Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal