University of Arizona hosts budget meeting with AZ Board of Regents

The University of Arizona and the Arizona Board of Regents are meeting to discuss the budget plan for the 2025 fiscal year.

According to a statement by the school President Robert C. Robbins, a preliminary overview of the 2025 fiscal year budget is expected to produce a deficit of $52 million, a considerable improvement from the previous year when the deficit was $162 million.

The largest spending reduction was made to administrative expenses, which helped lower the number by $110 million year-over-year.

In the statement, Robbins mentions that the budget is in line with the school's financial action plan, which was posted to the school's website on April 5.

Why does the University of Arizona need a financial action plan?

Earlier this month, Robbins said he had agreed to a reduction in salary and said he would step down from his position as school president if someone was hired as his successor before his contract ends on June 30, 2026.

He has been the face of a financial crisis that has plagued the school since the beginning of 2023. 


UArizona employees facing layoffs amid financial miscalculation

The Southern Arizona-based public university is grappling with a miscalculation of its predicted cash on hand, to the tune of $240 million.

Some of those financial problems stem from unpaid loans the university provided to the school's athletic department that were spent before the school decided to change from the Pac-12 Conference to the Big 12.

The Associated Press also cited a miscalculation of cash reserves by the school's accounting.

It also says they experienced a period of "accelerated spending" beginning in 2022 that led to a $140 million decline in cash and investments from its 2022 accounting compared to 2023.

The university has an annual budget of $2.7 billion, according to its financial action plan. 

In November, the school admitted to only having 97 days worth of cash on hand, lower than the 120 days required by the board of regents.

What else do we know?

In the months following the financial crisis, Athletic Director Dave Heeke was replaced and Chief Financial Officer Lisa Rulney resigned from the position.

There has also been shuffling on the board of regents with chair Fred DuVal stepping down from his leadership role while remaining as a member-at-large.

John Arnold, the board's executive director took a leave of absence to replace Rulney's position as CFO.

Cecilia Mata replaced DuVal's position as chair.

The university also implemented a hiring freeze and a freeze on increased compensation. Financial aid for out-of-state students and new construction projects were paused while ticket prices for major events have increased.

Many employees in the athletics department were laid off as well.