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The University of Michigan released its annual report for fiscal year 2021, which ran from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The report details notable achievements, pandemic stories and financial activity throughout the year. Despite many academic challenges stemming from the pandemic, the report reveals that the University continues to thrive during fiscal year 2021. 

In his leadership message regarding the report, University President Mark Schlissel said he is extremely pleased with the University’s continued excellence. 

“I’m pleased to report that nearly 21 months after the first case of COVID-19 pandemic upended so much of how we all live, work and learn and tested our ability to adapt, move forward and achieve success,” “The university has risen to these challenges at every turn, Schlissel wrote.” 

In addition, Schlissel highlighted two presidential initiatives in his letter: Poverty Solutions and the U-M Arts Initiative. He commended their work during the 2021 fiscal year in advocating for expanded Child Tax Credit and developing the project “A Travel Guide for Talking Hearts.” Schlissel attributed the University’s achievements in education and public mission to its firm financial position. 

The University’s endowment totaled $17 billion as of June 30, 2021. The University’s net position, which represents its assets minus its liabilities, increased by $5 billion to $19.5 billion in fiscal year 2021, primarily due to substantial investment returns, according to the report from Geoffrey Chatas, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. Chatas noted many stabilization measures implemented during the pandemic, such as freezing hiring and employee salaries and nonessential expenditures, contributed to the University’s strong financial position. 

According to Chatas, the University’s greatest source of operating revenue was the health system and other clinical activities, which contributed over half of the year’s $10 billion. Excluding patient care, student tuition was the primary source of revenue, which brought in $1.481 billion in revenue for the University.

The 1.9% increase in tuition and room and board for Ann Arbor campus students and the 3.9% tuition increase for undergraduate students on the Dearborn and Flint campuses, were approved by the Board of Regents in June 2020. Students strongly opposed the decision, saying it represented an unfair burden on pandemic-addled families. . 

State appropriations dropped 11% from fiscal 2020, according to the University’s financial statements. The report also noted the growth or reduction in state support is related to the University’s ability to restrain tuition increases.

Additionally, Chatas said the University’s record research volume led to U-M researchers receiving  $1.58 billion in fiscal year 2021. He also touted Michigan Medicine’s achievements in addressing pandemic-related challenges, such as vaccine rollout.

According to Thomas Baird, vice president for development, U-M donors provided $432 million in pledges and cash gifts. Baird said these donations helped extend the Go Blue Guarantee to all three campuses, a move for which campus activists fought for years. 

Baird said in his message he is grateful for the support of the U-M community and is amazed by how these contributions sustained the University during a challenging year. 

“Together, we will help ensure that U-M has the resources needed to keep earning our place as Leaders and the Best.” Baird wrote.

The annual report also highlights awards and honors, highlights of the University’s response to the pandemic and major projects, such as the opening of the Ford Motor Company Robotics Building on North Campus.

Daily Staff Reporter Jingqi Zhu can be reached at