Rutgers athletics' budget increases to $102.5 M. in 2017-2018
Rutgers spent $102.5 million on athletics in 2017-2018, running a deficit of $29.98 million, which was made up by $15.18 million in support from the University’s operating budget, $11.89 million in student fees and $2.9 million in direct state or government support, according to an article by NJ Advance Media.
The budget is an increase from $99.2 million in 2016-2017, according to the article. Student fees contributed more this year than the year before as well, rising from $11,766,728.
The University’s operating budget contributed less this year, decreasing from $21,320,750 in fiscal year 2017. This was also the first year since 2015-2016 that New Jersey gave a significant number of direct government support, only giving $29,163 in 2015-2016 and $0 in 2016-2017, according to the article.
In terms of Rutgers Athletics' revenue for 2017-2018, ticket sales were $10,764,623, down from $12,824,201 the year before. Yet money from the Big Ten distribution went up from the $16,106,487 raised last year, coming in at $25,222,071 for this year, according to the article.
“I think it is a waste of money,” said Deepa Kumar, president of the Rutgers American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT) and associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, in an interview with The Daily Targum last week.
Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs, in an interview with the Targum in February, said the revenue from ticket sales was not enough and that athletics still has the lowest budget from an expenditures standpoint in the Big Ten.
“You have to fix things on the revenue side,” Hobbs said. “Part of that will be the increase in distribution from the Big Ten in the years ahead, and what you need to do is be successful on the basketball court, be successful on the football field and then your attendance grows and that becomes a more significant part of our revenues.”
The AAUP-AFT recently agreed on a new contract with the University, giving faculty and graduate students 3% raises in the first three years and a 2.5% raise in the final fourth year of the deal, according to a University letter obtained by the Targum.
It also “establishes a process to address instances of salary inequity, allows for longer term appointments for non-tenure track faculty and recognizes the more than $40 million in funding that (University) President Robert L. Barchi previously committed to enhance diversity hiring, among other items,” according to the letter.