uchicago sign

The University of Chicago's sign at Blackstone Avenue and the Midway Plaisance.

University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer announced in an email May 7 that the school was projecting a $220 million decline in revenue this academic year. He also said that there would be additional cost-saving measures, after announcing a salary freeze and hiring slowdown last month.

“Every major revenue source of the University and Medical Center is significantly affected. This includes net tuition because of needed increases in financial aid for students, philanthropy and endowment payout because of the decline in equity and other financial markets, and patient care revenue because the required focus on COVID-19 has decreased the ability of many patients to come to the Medical Center for other care,” Zimmer wrote. (The $220 million figure did not include projected losses from the Medical Center.)

Last month, Zimmer wrote that the school would freeze salaries and slow academic hiring after this academic year, which ends in June. In his May 7  email, he said that these measures were insufficient. “As greater clarity about the full economic impact of the crisis has emerged it has become evident that additional cost saving measures will be required in the coming months,” he wrote. “We are exploring a number of different possibilities.” 

A U. of C. spokesperson did not elaborate on which factors caused the biggest decrease in projected revenue.


Christian Belanger graduated from the University of Chicago in 2017. He has previously written for South Side Weekly, Chicago magazine and the Chicago Reader.

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