STORRS, CT (WFSB) -- The UConn Board of Trustees has been meeting Wednesday morning, to outline plans for the fall semesters and budget cuts being made, largely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UConn President Tom Katsouleas recommended to the Board that students return in the fall, but it will be a "hybrid" between in-person and online.

UConn announces reopening plans for fall semester

He said they plan to create a bubble around the residential community by making sure they're COVID-free, and having them quarantine once they arrive on campus.

They'll also be slowly moving students in, in August.

Other precautions they're taking, include: reducing classroom capacity, having students and staff wear masks, and creating additional surge capacity.

The Storrs campus will only open at 70 percent capacity in the fall. 

Difficult decisions also had to be made about the budget, as Katsouleas said a $50 million shortfall is projected.

UConn announces manager furloughs, raise cancellations due to 'largest budget shortfall in history'

He announced UConn will no longer sponsor the following sports after the upcoming academic year: men's cross country, men's swimming and diving, men's tennis, and women's rowing.

They will honor all current athletic scholarships for students who wish to continue working towards their degree at UConn.

"While this is a painful decision, it is in the best interest of the long-term viability of UConn and UConn athletics," Katsouleas said. 

There will also be pay cuts for all non-union managers. 

"More than 50 percent of UConn is wages and salaries," said Senator Len Fasano. 

Republican Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano understands UConn faces financial troubles, but says the damage would be far less if the university has been less generous with fringe benefits agreed upon in union contracts. 

UConn's foundation also has an endowment, close to half a billion dollars. UConn says most of the donations are restricted for specific purposed such as scholarships or research. 

"It's time for UConn to step up and say we are giving money back to UConn, make sure we get through the coronavirus and make changes slowly over time," Fasano said. 

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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