CMU Board Unveils Budget, COVID-19 Plans For 2020-21 School Year

Thursday morning, Central Michigan University set their budget for next year and the Board of Trustees laid out details to handle students returning to campus.

“We are reopening. We are reimagining and we are rethinking what the college experience will be,” says school president Bob Davies.

Central Michigan was facing an enrollment crisis before a COVID crisis. The budget was going to be tight.Cmu Bot Meeting Pic

This morning, the Board of Trustees unveiled an operating budget of about $428 million, down more than $30 million from last year and $70 million from five years ago.

“We created efficiencies, we are using technology different,” says Davies, “We are focusing on key elements on the service side of enrollment and recruitment and retention and progress.”

More than half their revenue comes from tuition and CMU’s enrollment has been dropping over the last decade.

“We were the first state university in Michigan to freeze tuition,” says Davies, “We set the pathway forward that most universities have followed.”

Now it will be seen how many students return in the Fall, the Board discussed safety protocols compared to other schools.

“Given our structure, given the way our residential halls are set up now, we have opportunities to dedensify,” says Davies, “But not go to one person rooms that Eastern Michigan has gone to.”

Eighty five percent of CMU students are from Michigan but that leaves 15% from other states, traveling back to Mt. Pleasant.

“We are looking at protocols for certain students that may come from “hot pocket” states but those numbers are very low in comparison,” says Davies.

The budget will grow with enrollment and COVID has created a speed bump as the Chippewas try to catch up.

“To continue to recruit students,” says Davies, “Adapt and to change.”