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UB athletics bringing $25 million less than it costs to maintain study says

UB Stadium Fans
Posted at 6:52 PM, Sep 22, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A recent study named the "Bunsis Report" after Professor Howard Bunsis out of Eastern Michigan University shows that administrative salaries and athletics are getting a lot of funding at the University at Buffalo. So much so, that some students feel the money could be going elsewhere.

"We spend $23 million more than other peer institutions on administrative salaries" Lawrence Mullen, a doctoral student in the English Department said.

Mullen also works with the UB Living Stipend Group -- who's mission is to get livable wages for graduate teachers assistants.

"We make about $20,000 a year, the living wage in Erie County is $24,000," Mullen said, "we also pay mandatory fees so we actually make about $17,000."

UB Living stipend group paid for this study to see if there is money available to pay Teachers' Assistants more, and the results released last week, show UB is spending more than similar institutions on both administrators and athletics.

Starting with administrators, according to the study, UB pays almost $61 million per year in salaries, or 13.2%. That's more than "peer institutions" like Stony Brook -- the University of Arizona and the University of Pittsburgh.

As for athletics, the data shows athletic expenses rose 55% from 2011-2019, while all other expenses rose 23% during that time.

What is done with that money is rarely put back into the university, because the athletic program cost almost $46 million in 2019 while only bringing in around $20.5 million in revenue. That means Student Fees and School Funds need to cover the additional $25.5 million, highest again among peer institutions.

In response to this study, the University at Buffalo released a detailed statement, in it they said "The Bunsis report contains several flaws, inaccuracies and inconsistencies that misrepresent and misinterpret UB's budget and budgeting process. Readers of the report should be very skeptical of its findings." They continued to say that "Professor Bunsis' report does not reflect an informed or cogent understanding of SUNY or our university's finances."

According to the study, the reason for this lack of understanding is due to the lack of public information surrounding specific aspects of UB's finances.

7 Eyewitness News did reach out to UB to get specifics on how much money was spent on athletics and how much revenue they are taking in, and as of the story airing they have not gotten back to us.