Iowa athletics announces budget reductions
IOWA CITY — As part of the University of Iowa Athletics Department’s plan to mitigate the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, athletic director Gary Barta announced department budget reductions of approximately $15 million for the fiscal year of 2021.
The athletics department budget for 2020 was $124.8 million. The 2020-21 budget was anticipated to be $127.5 million prior to the reductions. With the reductions in compensation and operations, the department’s 2021 budget proposal will be $112.5 million. The $15 million reduction includes nearly $13 million in reduced operating 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.”
Reductions in salary and compensation are being spread across the department. Professional and scientific, non-contracted staff will see one-year salary reductions based on a graduated salary reduction scale. In general, staff earning above $200,000 will see a 10 percent base salary reduction, staff making $150,000-$199,999 a 7.5 percent reduction, salaries of $100,000-$149,999 a 5 percent reduction, $50,143-$99,999 a 3 percent reduction, and staff making below $50,143 a two percent salary reduction. Merit employees will participate in the budget reduction process through utilization of unpaid leave days in either six — or eight-day increments. Contracted employees were asked to participate in a voluntary salary reduction or contribution back to the department.
Specifically, head coaches Lisa Bluder, Tom Brands, Kirk Ferentz and Fran McCaffery, have voluntarily agreed to a one-year, 15 percent base salary reduction or contribution back to the athletics department. Deputy Athletics Director Barbara Burke has agreed to a 25 percent salary reduction, while Barta has reduced his total compensation package by more than 30 percent.
“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. 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.”