With a projected $300 million loss expected for the 2020-21 fiscal year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan State University has recently announced a number of cost saving measures it will be implementing in the months ahead to weather the financial storm facing all colleges and universities across the country. Among the measures are halting a number of ongoing construction and renovation projects around campus, top pay cuts for MSU executives, and cuts for faculty, academic staff, and administrators.
Michigan State President Samuel Stanley Jr. announced on June 23rd that approximately 4,200 of the university’s roughly 15,000 employees will see an average pay cut of 2.3 percent. Non-union faculty will see their pay reduced from as little as 0.5 percent for those non-tenured faculty making less than $50,000 per year to as much as seven percent for the highest paid. Deans and members of the executive team could see cuts as high as eight percent.
As for the effects to Spartan athletics, it is big impact as well. The $18.8 million, 35,000 square foot expansion to Munn Ice Arena, approved and started just last year in June has been put on hold indefinitely. Construction crews will work to enclose the structure from the elements while creating a southern exit route from the arena for the indefinite future.
The needed addition to Munn had already been paused after delays in fundraising after its initial announcement. It got a big boost after construction started in January of this year when the Izzo family donated $1.1 million toward the project. The project is still short of $7.5 million at this time, however. While in past years and decades athletics construction projects have been able to carry over debt to future years on projects, the uncertainty and staggering impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak does not make that feasible at this time.
Not that everyone reading this does not already know, but the Clarence L. Munn Ice Arena is the 6,114-seat hockey arena for the Michigan State Spartans men’s team. After moving out of Dem Hall for the new digs following the 1973-74 season, Munn became home to one of the hottest sporting tickets in the state. It is also home to a 17-year, 323 consecutive regular season home game sell-out streak. To paraphrase the student section chant regarding this news: “But COVID STILL SUCKS!”
Other major impacts to MSU and MSU Athletics projects include:
- $6 million for an active construction project replacing induction unites in Wells Hall
- $3.84 million for an active construction project making alterations to the third floor of the Hannah Administration Building
- $1.926 million design bid for a restoration to Spartan Stadium’s northern lower bowl
- $2 million for a bid on upgrades to the Munn Ice Arena Hall of History
- $15 million for planning of IM West Outdoor Pool Replacement
Some of the ongoing projects that will continue include:
- $1.6 million for renovations of the Sexual Assault Health Care program located on the second floor of the the Student Services Building
- $3.5 million for the fruit and vegetable lab renovation in the Food Science Building
- $41.5 million for an addition and renovation of the Music Building
- $5.8 million for alterations to the Skandalaris Football Offices and Hall of History in the Duffy Daugherty Building
For the full list of building projects impacted, you can refer to the MSU Infrastructure and Facilities Management release found here.