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February 8, 2024

UConn, UConn Health to seek additional $64.2M from state legislature to close budget gaps

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER UConn President Radenka Maric is trying to help the school achieve carbon neutrality on campus by 2030.

The University of Connecticut plans to ask the state legislature for an additional $47.3 million for its Storrs campus and $16.9 million for UConn Health, after Gov. Ned Lamont’s $26.1 billion budget plan proposed Wednesday kept reductions approved by the General Assembly during the last legislative session intact. 

Aid from all sources for UConn’s main and satellite campuses is slated to drop from $299 million this year to $251 million next year. For its Farmington-based health center, overall aid shrinks from $198 million to $157 million, CT Mirror reported.

UConn President Radenka Maric on Wednesday issued a lukewarm response to Lamont’s budget proposal, saying shortfalls are projected next year of $70 million for UConn and $29 million for UConn Health.

“Both deficits are substantial enough that the budget cuts required to close them will cause challenges to the university and impact our ability to carry out our missions as effectively as possible,” Maric stated. “Also, these shortfalls will grow if salary increases are negotiated for our employees in fiscal year 2025.”

However, Maric lauded $90 million in bonding for infrastructure improvements at UConn that were included in Lamont’s proposal, which Maric said are “evidence of his commitment to supporting state-of-the art facilities and infrastructure that will help us to excel.”

The proposed bonding includes $25 million for the design of a new science building and planning funds for the demolition of the Torrey Life Sciences Building; $20 million for renovations to the Gant Complex, which houses dozens of classrooms and labs; $12 million for the return of Hydrogen Hub funding; $25 million for deferred maintenance and $8.5 million for athletics facilities upgrades to remain compliant with Title IX.

Maric said UConn has made “internal spending reductions and revenue enhancements” to help close the budget deficits.

UConn’s Board of Trustees voted to increase housing and dining fees 2.75% for the 2024 fiscal year, which runs through June 30.

The Lamont administration has said previously that the state’s higher education systems should have been weaning themselves off emergency pandemic funding.

However, some UConn employees have collective bargaining agreements guaranteeing them raises.

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