In response to pandemic, UVM president forgoes salary


Mac Mansfield-Parisi/The Vermont Cynic

(Left to Right) President Suresh Garimella, Chair Ron Lumbra and Provost Patricia Prelock sit at a board of trustees meeting, Oct. 26. Prelock was appointed Provost this afternoon by President Garimella.

Alek Fleury and Irene Choi

UVM President Suresh Garimella has requested to forgo his salary for the month of April and has asked that it be contributed to a special university fund to help during this crisis.

“The board has approved his generous request with our thanks and deep respect during this uniquely challenging and stressful moment in time,” Ron Lumbra, chair of the board of trustees, stated in an April 6 press release.

As the University faces the possibility of financial challenges amid the COVID-19 outbreak, President Garimella assured that the state of the University is steady but strategies have to be put into place to ensure that steadiness in the future.

“The state of the University is sound, but we have to implement a number of strategies to ensure that this continues to be the case,” he stated in an April 8 email to students.

Lumbra stated Gov. Phil Scott has projected April to be a period of particular difficulty for the state of Vermont.

In light of these projections, the board of trustees has approved a three month postponement of UVM’s new budget. The administration will now present a budget to the board Sept. 15, according to the April 6 press release.

“The board of trustees has approved an interim budget for the first three months of the coming fiscal year,” Garimella stated. “When our revenue forecast is more certain in September, the board will adopt a final budget for the entire fiscal year.”

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, the board remains unsure of its specific impact on the University financially and will approve the new budget once they become more certain of its impact.

“The decision reflects the uncertainty felt throughout higher education as a result of impacts from the pandemic and is part of the continuum of actions the University has taken in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the press release.