The University of Michigan will lift universitywide pandemic-related spending restraints that were implemented in April 2020 but will continue to be prudent about spending in the face of ongoing financial uncertainties.

Those spending restraints included a hiring freeze for noncritical positions and the elimination of nonessential travel, purchases, use of consultants and advertising.

The decision, announced June 18 in an email message to Ann Arbor campus faculty and staff from President Mark Schlissel, follows the approval June 17 of the university’s consolidated budget plan for the coming fiscal year. That budget includes funding for a modest salary program for university employees and a $15-an-hour minimum wage for regular U-M employees on all campuses.

Beginning July 1, unit leaders may determine if and when to continue with spending restrictions based on their priorities and budget situation, while keeping in mind that university resources remain limited, the president said.

“Uncertainties around state funding, the duration of the pandemic, and our full utilization of federal emergency relief funds mean that we must remain judicious,” he said.

Schlissel said U-M was returning decision making to the unit level, “while also urging continued thought and discussion around ways to realize savings and efficiently deliver on our mission and values.

“We’re encouraging all employees to consider lessons learned during the period of constrained spending. We’ve been challenged to work in new and different ways, and our experiences this past year can help us continue to implement creative and innovative solutions that best deploy our resources.”

The president thanked employees for their commitment to the university.

“All of you deserve enormous credit for helping us achieve a balanced university budget that advances excellence in all we do amid a global pandemic,” he said.

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