Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Northwestern increases spending on faculty hiring and ends 2023 with money left over, Provost tells Faculty Senate

Carlotta Angiolillo/The Daily Northwestern
Faculty voiced concerns over their lack of input in budget discussions at Wednesday’s senate meeting.

Northwestern Provost Kathleen Hagerty told the Faculty Senate that the University’s financial position remained “strong overall” in a budget update Wednesday. 

In 2023, the University had $8.6 million left over from an operating budget of over $3 billion, compared to a positive margin of $138.7 million in 2022. 

“The goal of the University is not to have a lot of money left over,” Hagerty said. “But we absolutely do not want to go into a deficit.” 

A University spokesperson told The Daily that they considered the $8.6 million positive operating performance to be a “good outcome.” 

This surplus follows the multimillion-dollar budget deficit NU faced in 2018, which it resolved by drawing $100 million from its endowment in the following two years.

Last year, the University increased its spending on faculty hiring, as well as its data science and research computing investment. The University also spent 4.5% more on salaries, wages and benefits, making those payments 55% of total 2023 operating expenses. 

“We’ve made a lot of investments in hiring faculty,” Hagerty said. “Last year was especially productive in the sense that our success rate, or the number of offers that were accepted, was well above the historic trend.”

The University hired more tenure-track faculty last year — the number of 2023 tenure-track hires equals the number hired in 2021 and 2022 combined.

Though spending on faculty increased, so did the payout rate from the endowment, up by nearly 9% last year. 

The endowment, which makes up more than 20% of the University’s revenue, declined from nearly $15 billion at the beginning of 2022 to $13.7 billion in August.

Chemical and biological engineering Prof. Luís Amaral said this year’s budget update presentation was the best he has seen. However, Amaral voiced concerns over the lack of faculty input in budget discussions.

“It would be nicer for us if we had more of a role and were able to see the numbers on a more disaggregated level,” Amaral said, referring to the fact that the University presents its budget to the faculty as a compilation of the budgets of over 30 units and schools.

Faculty also posed questions about how the University’s budgeting plans might address the Northwestern University Graduate Workers’ demands, which include an increased stipend for graduate workers. Hagerty and Amanda Distel, NU vice president and chief financial officer, said they could not speak much on the ongoing negotiations. 

However, Hagerty said it was important for Northwestern to remain competitive in terms of graduate student stipends. 

A University spokesperson told The Daily that University officials had a “constructive negotiating session” with NUGW Wednesday, adding that they look forward to continuing the bargaining process.

NUGW’s website stated that Wednesday’s bargaining session, the 13th between NUGW and the University, was the first in which no tentative agreements were reached. The parties are slated to meet again on Feb. 1.

Other topics discussed at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting include the progress of the Ryan Field rebuilding project, the cleanliness of Kresge Hall, and plans for next month’s meeting, when Chief Investment Officer Amy Falls will speak to the Senate. 

Three of the senate’s 12 standing committees also gave reports on ongoing initiatives. The Educational Affairs Committee is still working on revising CTECs to reduce bias, as well as creating more support for students transferring from community colleges.

The next faculty senate meeting will take place on Feb. 7. 


Email: [email protected]

X: @isabelsu_

Related Stories:

Rebuild Ryan Field to be funded with ‘significantly increased’ Ryan family gift, University debt, University COO tells Faculty Senate

As administrators propose partially funding the $800 million Ryan Field project by incurring debt, faculty demand answers

Northwestern presents 2022-2023 budget report to Faculty Senate, discusses University employment policies

More to Discover