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Blank: UW-Madison faces $320 million pandemic loss by June

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison will face $320 million in pandemic-related losses by the time the current fiscal year ends in June, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said on Thursday.

Blank told UW System regents during a meeting that the pandemic is the “biggest financial disaster” the state’s flagship university has ever experienced.

She said by the end of June university athletics, housing and student unions will have lost a combined $150 million. Tuition revenue will have dropped by $30 million. Pandemic-related spending will have deepened the shortfall by $50 million, she said.

She said the school has taken a number of steps to fill the hole, including tapping reserves, freezing salaries, holding off on most new hires and implementing mandatory monthly furloughs for workers. The school’s senior leadership also has taken a voluntary 15% pay cut.

Still, she characterized the losses as a short-term problem that will largely resolve itself if the pandemic subsides and university operations resume on a more normal basis this fall.

“We can get past it once we’re through the next year and God willing we don’t hit the next crisis,” Blank said.

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