FY22 Budget Update, May 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

With CFO Wilson Garone prepared to share a more detailed update on the FY22 budget (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) at tomorrow’s CFO Forum, I write to update you on the wage pool increase for the coming fiscal year and the university’s contribution to your retirement benefit for the 2021 calendar year. We have every reason to expect both decisions will be approved by the Board of Trustees in June. As is the usual practice, the final budget will be approved by the Board in November after we confirm our fall 2021 enrollment numbers.

The past 15 months have been a particularly challenging time for all of us and the university. I am pleased to be able to share what I hope is some welcome news. First, it is important to know that our enrollment for fall is trending in a very good direction. Registrations for the incoming freshman class are well above goal and early signs for graduate enrollment are promising.

Second, our budget outlook is significantly better than it was in the fall. This is a result of the shared sacrifices we have all had to make because of the pandemic, the extraordinary work of many to help strengthen this year’s winter and spring enrollment and the significant federal government support in the form of COVID relief funding to offset substantial revenue losses at universities and colleges across the nation.

Compensation Increases

As the preliminary budget awaits approval, we are committed to a FY22 wage pool investment for faculty and staff, which consists of three components:

  • All eligible faculty and staff will receive a two percent compensation increase. While in ordinary times, compensation increases are merit-based, we believe a uniform percentage increase for all is most appropriate for next fiscal year, given the unusual circumstances of the past year and the sacrifices faculty and staff made.
  • Additional investments will be made toward market pay adjustments for a subset of faculty and staff positions confirmed to be below market median, recognizing the gap relative to market median salaries is wider for faculty.
  • Some funds will be available to support faculty and staff promotions.

More specifics on the allocation of pay pool related to market adjustments and promotions will be shared once the preliminary budget is approved.

University Contribution to Retirement Benefit

While the financial impacts of the pandemic made it necessary for the university to pause its contribution to faculty and staff retirement plans, the intent has always been to restore as much of this benefit as possible in these circumstances. The outlook for FY22 allows us to contribute five percent of faculty and staff salaries toward retirement for calendar year 2021. Please note: This contribution will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021—that is, it will apply to all eligible, or regular, wages earned this calendar year—and be paid at the end of 2021. Eligible Plan participants must work 1,000 hours at SU during 2021 to be eligible for this benefit.

Much remains to be determined for future years as the university seeks to support the retirement benefit for faculty and staff.

As work continues on the FY22 budget, know the decisions that have been made thus far, and those still to come, are informed by a recognition and sense of gratitude for the commitment each of you has shown to our university, particularly during the past 15 months. I want to thank you personally for being committed to our educational mission and students.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.