UT-Austin estimated to lose nearly $118M during 2021 fiscal year, not including athletics or academic programs

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Photo Credit: Megan Fletcher | Daily Texan Staff

UT-Austin is estimated to lose $118 million in revenue — not including athletics and academic programs — and costs for the fiscal year 2021, according to an internal expense report prepared on Jan. 8 and obtained by The Daily Texan. 

The University estimated it will spend $15 million for costs such as technology for classes, maintaining personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing and other pandemic-related expenditures. The University is also expected to lose about $103 million in revenue. The University has not estimated revenue loss for Texas Athletics or academic programs, said Veronica Trevino, media manager for Financial and Administrative Services. 

University Housing and Dining is expected to suffer the biggest loss at approximately $69.2 million while the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center is expected to lose about $10 million and parking and transportation $6.3 million. 

Combined, UT’s total losses from the fiscal year 2020 and 2021 could be anywhere from $270 to $280 million, according to previous reporting by the Texan. The 2021 fiscal year began on Sept. 1, 2020. 

“COVID-19 already has had a substantially negative impact (on) multiple revenue streams for UT-Austin, and that impact is expected to grow increasingly detrimental through the remainder of the fiscal year,” the report said. 

Academic programs that saw “significant losses” last year are also expected to lose additional revenue, according to the report. 

President Jay Hartzell said at his State of the University address Feb. 5 the University is estimated to lose $150 million since the pandemic started.

“We remain financially sound as an institution, and we are more fortunate than others with lesser breadth and fewer resources,” Hartzell said. 

The University incurred $12.2 million in costs at the end of December, excluding expenditures from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and it estimated another $3 million in costs for maintaining PPE, cleaning and other expenses throughout the year, Trevino said. She said all costs and revenue estimates are “subject to revision.” 

Maintaining the University’s COVID-19 testing abilities will cost at least $7.8 million while contact tracing operated by UT Health Austin and Austin Public Health will cost the University approximately $1 million, according to the document. 

Another $1.5 million is estimated to be spent over the next two years to expand the Behavioral Concerns Advice Line resource and Occupational Health program to offer mental health resources for students, faculty and staff sustained because of the pandemic and its aftermath. 

 “Several cost categories have ongoing outlays during fiscal year 2021, particularly PPE, cleaning and testing materials,” according to the report. “Additionally, there are some COVID-related programs the cost of which the University will incur primarily after the Fall semester begins.” 

The University is set to receive about $48.4 million from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, according to previous reporting by the Texan. Of that money, about $32.7 million can be used to cover institutional costs sustained from the pandemic, which equals about 27.7% of the estimated losses for the 2021 fiscal year. 

Trevino said the University is expecting to receive funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in the next few weeks, according to the Department of Education. 

“Allocation decisions and guidance will continue to roll out throughout the next few months,” Trevino said.