What Does $174.2 Million Mean for Athletics?

Rutgers president Robert Barchi announced the conclusion of a seven-and-half year "Our Rutgers, Our Future" campaign, which raised $1.037 billion for the university. With $174.2 million attached to the Rutgers athletic department, Scarlet Report examines what it means for subsidies and facilities with comment from athletic director Julie Hermann.

Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi announced what he called a resounding success in the university’s endowment reaching $1.037 billion as of Dec. 31, 2014.

Of the $1.037 billion, which surpassed the university’s $1 billion goal, Rutgers raised $174.2 million “for university and community programs, from local and global community outreach to athletics support, which is critical to competing in the Big Ten.”

Barchi told an NJ.com education writer today that none of that money will be used for facilities, meaning it goes toward operational costs and reducing the annual subsidy.

“[Senior associate athletic director] Sarah Baumgartner's leadership has been key in focusing our athletic fundraising efforts toward annual operating costs,” said Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann. “Educating our donors on the need for annual support in that area is one of the toughest parts of the job. So these numbers are fantastic and reflect our team's ability to commit to what our student-athletes need today."

Rutgers sits six years away from a full Big Ten share in its television deal, making the announced money significant in everything from team travel costs to scholarship and recruiting money for all sports.

By the numbers, new gifts and pledge fund raiser improved by 84.9 percent from $4,542,663 to $8,399,796. For comparison, the university’s growth increased by 58 percent in the financial year.

Athletics increased come from multiple spots, including increased seat donations and season ticket purchases for both football and men’s basketball and an increase in endowed scholarships for athletics.

Fundraising increased significantly in the final six months of the calendar year, which coincides with the July entry into the Big Ten Conference. The increase helped the athletic department exceed its $100 million goal, raising $101.7 million.

Though the announced $174.2 million raised from the “Our Rutgers, Our Future” campaign will not go toward facilities, Hermann and her staff remain focused on improvements to reach a Big Ten level in all sports.

Rutgers cannot take further steps until the feasibility study concludes, which is independent from the endowment numbers announced by Barchi.

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