University announces $83.4 million surplus for fiscal year 2020


Daily file photo by Catherine Buchaniec

The Weber Arch. The University announced on Wednesday it expects a budget surplus of $83.4 million for fiscal year 2020.

Megan Munce, Campus Editor

Northwestern University generated a $83.4 million surplus for fiscal year 2020, according to a Wednesday email by President Morton Schapiro. 

This is the second consecutive year Northwestern has generated a budget surplus despite projecting a loss. The surplus comes after the two-year deficit of fiscal years 2017 and 2018. Schapiro previously announced last spring the University would expect a $90 million budget deficit, leading to staff furloughs and pay cuts. Schapiro said the unexpected surplus came from “significant sacrifice and hard work by our University community.”

The email also announced that Northwestern reached a record $887.3 million in research awards in fiscal year 2020. The “We Will” campaign, started in 2014, also hit $5 billion in 2020, contributing to the University’s endowment ending the fiscal year at $11.1 billion. 

However, Schapiro wrote that “sustained vigilance” would be necessary to keep balanced spending into 2021 and 2022 as the University continues to incur costs related to COVID-19, such as testing and reduced housing occupancy on campus. 

Meanwhile, the University continues to take on new staff, as both the new Chief Diversity Officer and executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services start on Feb. 1. The search also continues for a new University ombuds, among other positions.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @meganmuncie

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