CPW members, jointly with the Columbia chapter of the American Association of University Professors, funded a thorough report of Columbia’s finances based on publicly available reports and tax documents. On Tuesday May 2nd, Professor Howard Bunsis presented his report to over 100 postdocs, faculty, staff, and other members of our community.
What does the Administration say on the bargaining table?
“There is not a single dollar of unrestricted money in Columbia’s budget.” Their position is that there is no money available for postdocs/ARS and our research outside grants.
What do the numbers say?
Columbia has $18.4 Billion in net assets. True unrestricted reserves are about $8 Billion!
The operating cash flow for 2022 was $911 Million! That is cash coming in minus cash going out in one year!
$1.2 Billion of revenue a year comes from public funding for research, from grants. That is money our work brings in! This reflects $900M in direct funding, and $300M in indirects.
The total research spending at Columbia in 2022 was $812 Million. Only two thirds of the research funding feeds back into research! Are they profiting out of our research while we can’t afford the bills?
It doesn’t add up!
Columbia is investing in a lot of assets, but not in research. Why do they stifle our potential to do better research, when they can afford to provide us with quality housing, childcare and compensation?
At the bargaining table, the Administration said that housing problems would cost them $16M, which is an insignificant fraction of their annual cash flows.
We asserted on the bargaining table: Our research will bring more money in grants for Columbia if only they were to invest in us. We are not a zero sum game, we are not just a line on the budget. Our work keeps research running at Columbia.