UCF expects to lose $49 million from coronavirus impact

President Alex Cartwright said the university is moving forward with the assumption that classrooms will reopen in the fall.

Photo via YouTube/UCF

The University of Central Florida expects losses of about $49 million through August as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, though it also has received money under a federal stimulus law and is trimming expenses, according to projections presented Thursday to the university’s trustees.

President Alex Cartwright said the university is moving forward with the assumption that classrooms will reopen in the fall.

That's the best-case scenario, according to the presentation. But if Florida becomes a hotspot for COVID-19 cases and social distancing measures remain in place, university officials said they could be looking at resuming face-to-face instruction and reopening housing and dining facilities as late as fall 2021.

“It is like dealing with multiple hurricanes at once,” Cartwright, who was confirmed as the university’s new president last month, said during a conference call with the UCF Board of Trustees. In early April, the coronavirus prompted university officials to extend remote instruction through the summer.

By then, students had been distance learning since mid-March. In the wake of campus closures, the university is expecting financial losses of about $49 million through August, including about $11 million in housing refunds and housing revenue losses, $2 million in coronavirus-related expenses and $28 million in lost sales and services.

Meanwhile, university officials said they have saved about $13.5 million through such things as a hiring freeze and travel savings. The university has also received $51 million in federal funds through the federal CARES Act, with half of the money going to university support and the other half to student emergency financial-aid grants, according to the presentation.

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