December 22, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
As you know, Congress finally passed the much-awaited second COVID stimulus bill last night. I gratefully acknowledge the steadfast support of our entire congressional delegation, led by House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern, Ways and Means Chair Richie Neal and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey. I am also grateful to UMass President Marty Meehan, campus labor leaders and all those who advocated on behalf of UMass Amherst.
With the bill awaiting the President’s signature, it appears that UMass Amherst will receive direct funding from the federal government that can be used to provide relief for COVID-related budget shortfalls in Fiscal Year 2021. However, it is too early to tell exactly what the amount of the funding will be, how the funds will be disbursed, and what restrictions might be placed at the Department of Education level. Over the next few weeks we will be working closely with campus stakeholders to determine the full implications for the campus budget. What is clear at this time is that this is a very positive development, in that barring any unexpected declines in spring enrollment and housing occupancy, the likelihood of additional personnel reductions will be greatly diminished.
Mindful of the stresses our community is currently enduring, let us celebrate this bit of good news, along with the rollout of vaccines that promise to bring the pandemic under control over the next several months. I wish all of you and your families a safe and healthy holiday break.
Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy