Clemson’s Board of Trustees approved a $1.3 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which began in July 2020 and continues through June 2021. The budget includes a reduction in overall expenses despite the significant one-time expenses attributable to COVID. The administration presented the proposed budget after operating the past five months on a continuing resolution budget which authorized spending at the previous fiscal year levels with a focus on continued expenditure control.

Since April, in response to the unprecedented uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has frozen tuition and mandatory fees for FY21 and conducted rigorous testing of the possible impacts to both revenues and expenditures.

“Given the uncertainty still posed by the pandemic, we believe the FY21 budget is reasonably, but not overly, conservative in its projections,” President Jim Clements said.

The adopted budget includes a reduction in both total revenues and expenses of approximately 1.1%, based upon a projected reduction in one-time state funding and a significant decrease in auxiliary revenues – including athletics, housing and dining. On the expenditure side of the ledger of the balanced budget, the University anticipates increased mandatory, inflationary, compliance and safety costs, including significant expenses related to COVID-19. In addition to the ongoing cost reductions of a hiring freeze and travel restrictions, the University has paused several planned capital projects.

“This budget reflects a proactive approach to addressing the impacts of COVID while enabling the University to power out of the pandemic,”  said Tony Wanger, Executive Vice President for Finance and Operations. “This budget redeploys over $60 million in budget reductions to support on-going and projected COVID impacts while setting the stage for potential reinvestment of funds.”

Overall, the University has adopted a budget which allows for the absorption of expenditures related to the pandemic while preserving the strategic priorities of its educational mission.