University of Michigan annual report reveals strong financial position despite pandemic

Credit: Michigan Photography

ANN ARBOR – Despite the many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Michigan’s “financial position remains strong,” according to the school’s annual report.

As part of the 2020-21 fiscal year report, U-M President Mark Schlissel wrote a message hailing the university’s ability to thrive over the past 21 months.

“Across our three campuses, more than 65,000 students are pursuing their academic goals and earning their degrees in a wide breadth of disciplines,” Schlissel wrote. “Our health care professionals at Michigan Medicine, who facilitated more than 2.6 million clinic visits with patients last year, remain on the front lines of combatting COVID-19 in our region.

“And University of Michigan researchers logged $1.58 billion in research volume during the past fiscal year, leading to advancements in areas ranging from firearm injury prevention to clean water that benefit our state, our nation and the world.”

Read: Research output at Michigan Medicine increased during pandemic

The past fiscal year spanned between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The report also includes financial statements, major projects, awards and honors, annual highlights and stories outlining the school’s pandemic response.

Special projects and achievements over the past year include:

  • The extension of U-M’s Go Blue Guarantee -- a program that provides qualifying Michigan residents with four years of free tuition to its Flint and Dearborn campuses.
  • The commitment to achieve carbon neutrality across all three campuses, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions from sources on campus.
  • The launching of the state’s first artificial intelligence master’s program at U-M Dearborn.
  • The resumption of work on Michigan Medicine’s new hospital -- The Pavilion at University of Michigan Health -- after a pause on construction at the beginning of the pandemic.

In the report, U-M vice president for development, Thomas Baird, lauded the generosity of the “extended University of Michigan community” who contributed $432 million in cash gifts and pledge payments in the fiscal year 2020-21. The funds include a 35% increase in gifts supporting students from the past year, totaling $127 million.

“Even in a year of continued uncertainty, I’m amazed by what we can do when we band together to support the mission of the university and its schools, colleges and units,” Baird wrote. “Together, we will help ensure that U-M has the resources needed to keep earning our place as Leaders and Best.”

The report also noted that U-M reported nearly $1.5 billion in research expenditures, more than half of which were funded by the federal government. As a result, more than 500 new inventions were generated and 23 startups launched.

Independent accounting firm PwC audited the university’s consolidated finances.

To read the full annual report, click here.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.