University of Iowa Athletics Department announces FY21 budget cuts


Fans fill Kinnick Stadium before an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Michigan, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The University of Iowa’s (UI) Director of Athletics Chair Gary Barta announced the department budget reductions of about $15 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

It’s a part of the university’s Athletic Department plan to mitigate the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university said the department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 was $124.8 million. The 2020-21 budget was anticipated to be $127.5 million before the reductions.

With the reductions in compensation and operations, the athletic department’s FY21 budget proposal will be $112.5 million.

The $15 million reduction includes almost $13 million in lowered operations expenses, with the remaining in compensation adjustments.

“None of this is easy for our coaches and staff. I appreciate their continued understanding in these uncertain times,” Barta said. “The pandemic has dealt us a financial situation that requires difficult decisions. It is our responsibility to maintain a fiscally responsible operation while providing the highest level of service to our student-athletes.”

UI said the reductions in salary and compensation are being spread out across the department.

For Professional and Scientific staff that are non-contracted, they will see a one-year salary reductions based on a graduated salary reductions scale.

In general:

  • Staff earning above $200,00 will see a 10% base salary reduction
  • Those making $150,000-$199,999 will see a 7.5% reduction
  • Salaries of $100,000-$149,999 will see a 5% reduction
  • Staff earning $50,143-$99,999 will see a 3% reduction
  • Those making below $50,143 will see a 2% salary reduction

The university adds that merit employees will participate in the budget reduction process through the utilization of unpaid leave days in either six- or eight-day increments.

Contracted employees were asked to participate in a voluntary salary reduction or a contribution back to the department.

Officials mention that specifically, head coaches Lisa Bluder, Tom Brands, Kirk Ferentz, and Fran McCaffery, have voluntarily agreed to a one-year, 15% base salary reduction or a contribution back to the athletics department.

UI Deputy Athletics Director Barbara Burke has agreed to a 25% salary reduction, while Barta has lowered his total compensation package by more than 30%.

“I care deeply about our staff and recognize a reduction in salary will have a significant impact on many families throughout the department. I want to thank our entire staff for their support and understanding as we have worked through this process,” Barta said. “We are trying to balance making necessary financial cuts with spreading the sacrifice thoughtfully.”

The current reductions assume complete football and basketball seasons with fans in attendance and any interruptions or reduction in these seasons would lead to more significant cuts.

“These are challenging times with significant uncertainty,” Barta said. “We are grateful for the loyal and generous support of our fans and appreciate knowing they are with us as we face this adversity.”

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