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  • Jonathan Dusza

AAUP disputes $20 million deficit claims

There is no evidence of the $20 million deficit that Canisius College used to justify their laying off of workers and elimination of programs during the summer of 2020, an analysis commissioned by the Canisius chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) claimed.

The analysis was carried out by, according to the AAUP, a “nationally respected financial analyst with an expertise in university finances.” It used the school’s available public financial records as the basis for its conclusions.

According to a statement from the AAUP regarding the analysis, the actual deficit on which the school was running “should have been projected at closer to $7 million.” The statement continued: “In fact, the ‘operating cash flow’ ... in 2020 was positive $1.5 million.” This claim apparently contradicts the $20 million deficit that was cited as the reason for the school’s laying off of 96 employees, elimination of nine majors and salary decreases for employees in 2020.

In addition to that, the analysis found that “the college is in ‘adequate financial condition,’” citing “enormous” help from federal relief funds during the pandemic. Additionally, it came to the conclusion that there are “sufficient reserves and annual operating cash flows so that the college is not in any financial trouble.”

A separate investigation also from the AAUP claims that, from money raised from gifts to the college, compared to Canisius, other schools “use a higher percentage of gifts to serve their operating budget,” whereas Canisius spends a greater percentage on endowments. The AAUP also says that instructional salaries saw a “much larger decline” than administrative and non-instructional salaries.

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