Chancellor talks budget freeze and COVID-19’s impact on TCU

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TCU froze its operating budget for the 2020-21 academic year as it braces for the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chancellor said. 

Chancellor Boschini speaks at his annual town hall in March 2013. Photo by TCU 360.

“We are preparing for the worst, yet hoping for the best,” Chancellor Victor Boschini said Tuesday.

Boschini said the university expects to lose anywhere between $39 and $50 million because of the virus. As a result, during its regularly scheduled spring meeting held via Zoom, the TCU Board of Trustees put merit increases for faculty and staff on hold until January and decided to leave most open positions vacant.  

The chancellor added that the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic impacted TCU for five years and now has the idea that the university will “undergo the same impact for years.”

The board also shelved plans to split Boschini’s responsibilities and hire a president to handle day-to-day operations.

Along with the budget, COVID-19 has posed a potential impact on TCU’s enrollment. TCU received a record number of applications for the fall 2020 entering class — 20,889. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 may alter how many students will enroll and put a deposit down. 

The board has made the decision to approve the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget with the stipulation that the university’s administration will evaluate the university’s financial position and post COVID-19 financial conditions.

With these decisions, the chancellor added that students will not see any significant effect financially and ensures “these decisions are to help our students in the long run.”

The TCU commons. Photo courtesy of TCU.

Although the question still remains: Will TCU have in-person classes in the fall?

In his honest opinion, Boschini is confident that TCU will resume with in-person classes in the fall, but the university is “always planning for both virtual and in-person classes.”