HSU Spending Priorities and Investments from Federal Emergency Funding

March 15, 2021 - 4:34pm

Humboldt State University has announced allocations of the $12 million in funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Since the initial campus call for feedback, HSU received an additional $1 million in federal Minority-Serving Institution funding, increasing the total second round funding allocations from $11 million to $12 million. 

As a reminder, this is on top of the $5 million in funding being directly allocated to students via emergency aid, of which over $4.5 million has already been distributed.

While this funding does not address long-term budget goals for the University, it provides a unique opportunity to invest significant one-time resources to creatively address current pandemic challenges in ways that can benefit students, staff, and faculty for years to come.

Upon being notified about the second round of federal funding, HSU launched a process to gather feedback from the campus community and key leadership groups, including University Senate and Associated Students (AS). Over 200 submissions were received and reviewed. 

The feedback represents input from the broader campus community, divisions, and AS on where investments are most needed so  our students can learn, faculty can teach, and employees can work in the safest environment possible as the University continues to adapt to the impacts of COVID-19. 

After garnering feedback, the University Budget team organized and presented the information to the President’s Administrative Team (PAT) with an emphasis on high priority areas that emerged during consultation. After reviewing, the PAT made final decisions and allocated resources to the below areas: 

  • Safety and Operations—$2,200,000

  • Instruction and Technology—$3,150,000

  • Student Success and Completion—$1,770,000

  • Strategic Investments and Campus Resilience—$4,864,442

Over 90% of the funding is being allocated to activities in direct alignment with campus input. The link provides more details on the allocations to each of the above categories.

The funds will enable the allocated resources to help sustain critical areas which serve our students, provide funding to student programming, and invest in infrastructure which can help during the pandemic and beyond. In addition, it will enable the campus to provide support for the Ethnic Studies requirement implementation and the Department of Native American Studies Food Sovereignty Lab and Cultural Workspace.  

Established last year under the The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, HEERF is meant to assist higher education institutions to cover emergency expenses related to COVID-19. HEERF also provides emergency financial aid grants to college students who lost income or took on additional expenses due to the pandemic.

Last week, the federal government approved the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which will provide a third round of emergency funding for students and the campus. More details will be shared when more information is available. [Read California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro’s statement on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.]

Read more about CARES, and HEERF and MSI funds for HSU.


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