Is this why tuition keeps going up?

While Rutgers University was tightening its financial belt amid a "fiscal emergency" during the pandemic in 2020, the athletic department went on a spending spree, according to a report by The Daily Targum.

The student newspaper's review of purchasing orders showed that expenditures by the Athletic Department during fiscal year 2021 increased by 13% over the previous year. According to The Daily Targum report, sports revenue were anticipated to drop 30% because most events were held without fans.

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Among the athletic department  expenditures during that period discovered by The Daily Targum:

  • $24,000 for upgrades to the football coaches offices including a $3,100 television
  • $12,400 on a "power nap" machine
  • $4,692 for 10 later pointer remotes for football coaches
  • $4,400 for car service on June 14, 2020 for a track athlete

In his address to the Senate and General Assembly in October 2020, University President Jonathan Holloway said the school was facing "the most significant and substantial shortfall in the university’s history" resulting in a deficit of $97 million. 6,000 workers had been furloughed and senior administrators took voluntarily pay cuts.

Holloway said the school put a freeze on discretionary spending related to university operations, a continued prohibition on business travel, an ongoing suspension of new capital construction projects and a review of all active projects.

A spokesman for Rutgers Athletics on Thursday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for response to the student newspaper's report.

Rutgers this year raised tuition by 2.6%, to $15,804 a semester for an undergraduate student who is a resident of the state.

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