Spring Financial Update
April 28, 2021
Over the course of these past fourteen months, I have written to you to provide updates on our efforts to respond to the impact of the pandemic. Today, I am pleased to share our next steps in responding to the financial implications of our response to COVID-19.
Last spring, in a series of messages, I described some of the financial challenges related to COVID-19 and actions we took to respond. Throughout this period, we have been guided by three commitments: protecting the health and safety of our community, sustaining our academic mission, and protecting the livelihoods of our workforce.
Over the course of this past year, we have sought to ensure we were addressing the most urgent challenges—including providing new resources towards mental health and well-being through the One Medical Mindset program, COVID-19-related dependent care assistance, additional paid leave, and special holidays. I am deeply grateful for the hard work and dedication of so many members of our community during this time.
Today, I wish to announce three steps that reflect our appreciation of the sacrifices our community has made this past year.
- In June, we will be resuming the employer contributions to our Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, which is our 403(b) retirement plan.
- We will be providing a 2% pay increase to eligible staff/AAP employees, effective July 1, in lieu of a merit increase process.
- We will be resuming our campus-based faculty merit review processes. Further details will be provided by our campus Executive Vice Presidents.
We will also be taking steps to support the resumption of research and scholarship for members of our faculty who were unable to sustain the trajectory of their scholarship due to the pandemic. In addition, we will be expanding support for dependent care for faculty and staff related to the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, the Federal Government passed several pieces of legislation to address the financial challenges faced by higher education in responding to the pandemic. Georgetown has been a recipient of these funds, which have been used to defray costs directly related to COVID-19, and we have dispensed some of these funds directly to our undergraduate and graduate students. We supplemented these emergency funds for students with institutional funds and with philanthropy. For employees, last spring, we expanded our longstanding University-run GUCares Employee Emergency Fund with two new categories of grants for COVID-19 relief and dependent care assistance.
In the most recent legislation, Georgetown has received an additional $16.4 million in funds, half of which will go directly to students. The remaining amount will allow us to identify ways, over the coming months, to help reduce some of the challenges of resuming faculty research disrupted during the pandemic and support dependent care related to the pandemic for faculty and staff.
As we continue to plan for the fall semester and gain a deeper picture of the continuing financial impacts of COVID-19, we will share additional updates. As part of our commitment to returning the University to full financial health, we are continuing to monitor expenses closely, included in those areas identified last April—new hiring, salary increases, and discretionary spending.
While we still face uncertainties about the future of the pandemic, which is still having global impacts, we can begin to see ahead the important work that needs to be done to rebuild our country and our communities. I wish to express my most sincere appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of our community this past year and for the work we will engage in together, in the future.
John J. DeGioia