• Doug Most

    Assistant VP, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 14 comments on President Brown Outlines How BU Aims to Cover $52 Million Shortfall

  1. Does BU even have a COVID-19 emergency relief grant? How come other schools of similar prestige already have one set up for their students? What’s the point of being a “prestigious” university if BU’s financial aid department falls way behind?

    1. The University is working quickly to develop a process that will help the most students in need. We are carefully reviewing all of the guidelines associated with the fund so that we can make thoughtful decisions about how best to provide these critical funds to students. Details will be published on the BU COVID19 site.

      -Julie Wickstrom, Executive Director
      Boston University Financial Assistance

    2. Dear student,
      Boston University does indeed have emergency funding available for its students. We encourage you to contact BU Financial Assistance at finaid@bu.edu or 617-353-2965 if you are experiencing a financial hardship.

      Additionally, the recently passed CARES act provides colleges and universities with funding in the form of an Education Stabilization Grant.The University is working quickly to develop a process to help eligible students in need receive these funds. Details will be published on the BU COVID19 site.

      -Julie Wickstrom, Executive Director
      BU Financial Assistance

    3. Good point, time to dip into the corpus of the endowment and when everything is back to “normal” work to build it back up. Now is not the time to restrict endowment spending to traditional 4% of corpus. Yes, the fund has lost value due to market valuations, but it should be close, or even higher, than it was in 2016.

      Spend to retain current students so they can get their degrees, Backfill the spending over time in the future with gifts.

      1. This is exactly the time to utilize BU’s substantial endowment. Like you said, it can be built back up; shortchanging students or wage workers hopefully won’t be considered over concerns about diminishing the endowment.

  2. As a parent I am interested to hear the administrations thoughts on 2020-2021 academic year’s tuition, housing and meal plan fees. More to the point will they remain the same knowing many families are negatively impacted negatively by C-19 which makes bridging the gap between any grants, scholarships, loans and the total costs almost impossible? Or will we see increases which may prevent students from returning or taking on even more debt?

    1. I agree. As a parent, I am also concerned with 2020-2021 tuition and other costs. We understand BU had to move to remote classes but we already feel the students lost value when BU went to remote classes. A decrease for existing students will be greatly welcomed.

  3. It’d be great to give students more confidence that we will return to in person classes in Fall. It changes how we plan our classes for summer and fall and we’re effectively being asked to continue taking classes, without being able to plan. For example, some classes are too important to take via Zoom.

  4. BU will freeze the salaries of employees making $40,000 – $50,000, and you feel it is fair that the BU President cuts his salary from $2,500,000 by 20% to $2,000,000?

    Maybe it is time for BU to get rid of top-heavy administration staff (thousands of them) and all others who spend their time at BU going from meeting to meeting accomplishing nothing.

    Maybe it is time to look at the layers of bureaucracy that have been eating into the finances of this institution for years. What BU needs is not a pep talk, but efficiency and accountability which only new leadership can provide.

    1. Kudos – good point on the Executive salary. How about the President declaring a moratorium on his salary until Spring Semester next year. Now that would have more teeth.

  5. As a parent, I applaud BU for being positively active during this time and for their teachers promoting distance learning. As an educator in my town and as much as we rely on 21st century technology, it still proves very difficult , even weeks later, in enduring the day to day of online teaching.
    I would like to however mention, although very difficult to prove, there are cheating going on during online exams. I overheard a chemistry professor saying a 65 is a good passing grade and he had mentioned that he suspected cheating but will not curve grades. Unless, if I misunderstood, professors have their own policy concerning grading but during this time, I believe exceptions should be made. Without the change, how are those honest, hardworking , students getting their just rewards? I’m asking for fairness.
    I do commend the freeze and salary reductions, especially the salary reductions! It proves to me President Brown and his administration are putting BU and its community above all and they are committed to doing and preserving this community. I hope other educational institutions , from elementary to higher educational institutions follow suit. Personally, my town should sit up and take notice and follow BU’s exemplary example!

  6. Why don’t faculty take a cut in salary and money go to help out students
    At my prior university the mantra by faculty was “its all about the student ” until it meant loss of money for faculty
    I agree with post above Boston U and other large universities need to get rid of many administrators and positions with multiple levels such as assistant to this or that
    Can’t positions be combined. Seems that there is a lot or reduncy which cost salaries but all the benefits such as health and retirement. There are so many levels it reminds me of the British monarchy
    Step up faculty and administrators if you really believe “it’s all about the student ”
    President Brown has done an amazing
    job with making BU an outstanding university
    but it still can be amazing with some combining of positions and faculty doing more
    GC CAS 77/80

    1. Faculty did take a cut not willingly – they abolished our retirement contributions which is a good 7% pay cut for most people.
      I’m not sure you understand how little faculty make. I make 60,000 a year. I’m sure there are faculty members who make more, but 60,000 a year living in Boston is actually not far from the poverty line, but you think I should I take a pay cut because a University that lost 54 million (meanwhile they just raised 1.85 billion in fundraising!). My salary wouldn’t cover a floor renovation in any building on campus. My salary wouldn’t cover the catering that never gets eaten on campus. My salary amounts to about the same as what one of my 50 some odd students pay each year, but I should take a salary cut? I think there are better ways to make up the deficit than cut the salaries of already underpaid faculty. Nevertheless Gerald Collins, BU has taken your idea and has in fact given me a salary cut, given the secretaries a faculty cut and given the janitors a salary cut by abolishing our retirement contributions so you got your wish!

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