Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

CFO Optimistic About Berklees Future

08/03/2021

CFO Optimistic About Berklees Future Challenges remain but Berklee is on track to rebound from the largest financial crisis in its history, says Mac Hisey, senior vice president for Administration and Finance.

By

Nick Balkin

March 8, 2021

Image by Kelly Davidson

For Berklee, 2020 was supposed to be a year of celebration, with the college's 75th anniversary, a new campus in New York City, and the introduction of its first woman president. While the past year did include these exciting milestones, they took place amidst an extraordinary moment in history, one that forced Berklee to reinvent how we work, teach, learn, perform, and create.

When the pandemic hit last year, President Roger H. Brown urged Berklee to come together and do what it does best: improvise and innovate. A Boston Conservatory at Berklee student rallied more than 70 of her peers to form a virtual orchestra whose viral video inspired millions of people around the world. The institution pivoted to remote learning, tapping into Berklee Online's near two decades of expertise to create a virtual experience worthy of students' talent and time. And when students and faculty began returning to campus in January, Berklee continued to prioritize safety by expanding health care support, reconfiguring spaces to optimize social distancing, and launching a testing protocol that is among the most rigorous in higher education.

To ease the financial burden on students, Berklee took a number of critical steps, including freezing tuition for this academic year, waiving comprehensive fees for the fall 2020 semester, and substantially increasing scholarship support, including the issuance of $2,500 grants to all students who enrolled last fall. All of these actions, along with the establishment of emergency aid funding and a robust COVID-19 health and safety infrastructure, posed daunting financial challenges.

While the institution is likely to post an operating loss this year, Berklee's financial strength coming into the pandemic has helped it to absorb that loss as it prepares for what is expected to be another difficult fiscal year. But despite these challenges, Richard Mac Hisey, Berklee's senior vice president for Administration and Finance, chief financial officer, and chief investment officer, says that Berklee's overall financial outlook is healthy. We talked to Hisey about the pandemic's impact on the budget, and Berklee's fiscal prospects in the short and long term; below are lightly edited excerpts from the conversation.

Mac Hisey, senior vice president for Administration and Finance

What were the most substantial challenges we faced in the past year? What actions did Berklee take to address those challenges? The number-one challenge and number-one priority of the past year was supporting the health and safety of the Berklee community. To address this, we set up a dedicated committee to, one, vacate our campus with the onset of the pandemic, support our transition to virtual learning, and immediately issue credits and refunds to our students for unused room and board and comprehensive fees; two, design a COVID-19 safety infrastructure utilizing industry best practices; and three, plan for the reopening of our campus with appropriate modifications to our physical spaces, including the implementation of best-practice protocols, the introduction of an on-site testing center run by Tufts Medical Center with support from the Broad Institute, and the introduction of new integrated technologies to support a safe campus. Our staff and faculty have worked tirelessly and closely together to support the health and safety of our community and the optimization of our learning environments to maintain the continuation of our students' academic progress.

All of the tough decisions and hard work of the past year will support our continuing financial strength, the health and safety of our community, and the high quality of the Berklee educational experience.

-Mac Hisey

How seriously has the coronavirus affected our budget? Are there numbers you can share that illustrate that impact? COVID-19 and all of the actions we have taken in response to the pandemic produced the largest financial challenge that Berklee has ever faced. In total, we faced a financial shortfall of over $70 million, which is over 20 percent of our budget. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our community, we have successfully offset over 75 percent of that shortfall. We were able to do this through reductions across all expense categories. Unfortunately, given that faculty and staff salaries are our largest cost, this also necessitated the introduction of mandatory staff furloughs, which has had an undeniable impact on our community.

How would you describe Berklee's financial outlook, currently and into next year? As noted, we expect to record an operating loss for the year, but have the financial strength to absorb that loss. I would also note that Berklee Online has experienced very strong growth in this environment, providing thousands of students with a high-quality online experience. Berklee Online's success has been both strategic and financial, helping to lower the loss we anticipate for this year.

Berklees COVID-19 Testing Center

Image by Cristian Avila

Looking forward, we fully expect the pandemic to continue to impact us financially into next fiscal year (starting on June 1) and are planning accordingly. We are very encouraged by recent news of accelerated vaccine distribution, but nevertheless anticipate some continuing impacts on enrollment and the need to maintain our COVID-19 infrastructure for some period of time to support the health of our community. So, while we are all very excited about having all of our students back for the on-campus experience, we do expect some continuing impacts from the pand
LINK: https://www.berklee.edu/berklee-now/news/cfo-optimistic-about-berklees...
See more stories from berklee

Most recent headlines

22/04/2021

WO Automation for Radio v5.0 offers fully remote station operations without compromise

The latest version of WO Automation for Radio, version 5.0, includes significant...

21/04/2021

UKTV experiences record Q1 viewing and sees huge uptick in 16-34s tuning in

21 April 2021 Multi-channel broadcaster enjoys highest ever Q1 share of viewing at 4.73% - an 8.6% growth year-on-year UKTVs share of commercial impacts (S...

21/04/2021

Netflix Adds 4M Subscriptions in Q1 2021, Short of Expectations

LOS GATOS, Calif.-Is the streaming boom powered by the pandemic starting to fade? One sign that could point to that idea is Netflix, the largest streaming provi...

21/04/2021

Hulu Strikes Deal to Carry NFL Network, NFL RedZone

NEW YORK-Hulu and NFL Media have come to terms on a multi-year carriage agreement that will bring NFL Network and NFL Redzone to the Hulu + Live TV service in t...

21/04/2021

Dejero Completes $60M Minority Recapitalization to Boost Growth

WATERLOO, Ontario-Dejero has announced a minority recapitalization of its business that totaled $60 million. The recapitalization was led by Vertu Capital, alon...

21/04/2021

ESPN, Fox Lead 42nd Sports Emmy Nominations

NEW YORK-The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced the nominees for the 42nd Annual Sports Emmy Awards, with ESPN and Fox leading all n...

21/04/2021

APTS, PBS Back FCC's Efforts to Increase False Emergency Alert Reports

WASHINGTON-Citing the goal of quickly and accurately informing the public about safety threats, America's Public Television Stations and PBS (collectively P...

21/04/2021

IBC Set to Go Ahead as Planned in September

LONDON-IBC 2021 is set to go ahead as planned in September, with organizers saying they are focused on delivering a fantastic event at the RAI in Amsterdam....

21/04/2021

Sony Sells Its Memnon Archiving Division to ES Broadcast

LONDON-ES Broadcast announced its acquisition of Sony's Memnon archiving solution arm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed....

21/04/2021

Quibi Content Becomes Roku Originals'

SAN JOSE, Calif.-Roku has driven the final nail in Quibi's coffin, announcing that the short-lived mobile streaming platform's content it acquired in Ja...

21/04/2021

Tightrope's Cablecast Powers Online Video Delivery for Cambridge Public Schools

MINNEAPOLIS-The Cablecast Community Media platform from Tightrope Media Systems ...

21/04/2021

Live Video Game Streaming Hit 8.8B Hours in Q1 2021

LONDON-People aren't just streaming TV shows and movies, live streams of video games grew substantially in 2020, and after the first quarter, 2021 is off to...

21/04/2021

Teradek Joins NDI Ecosystem

IRVINE, Calif.-Teradek is now part of the NDI ecosystem, which it will incorporate with its line of Teradek Cube 700 series encoders. Teradek Cube 705 and Terad...

21/04/2021

SVG Sit-Down: New FOR-A America President Satoshi Kanemura on Company's Role in Sports Production

SVG Sit-Down: New FOR-A America President Satoshi Kanemura on Company's Role...

21/04/2021

SVG SportsTech On Demand: VITEC Mark Robison's on New Venues With IPTV Systems and Enhancing the Fan Experience

SVG SportsTech On Demand: VITEC Mark Robison's on New Venues With IPTV Syste...

21/04/2021

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Haivision's Mark Horchler on Remote Collaboration and Remote Operation Over IP

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Haivision's Mark Horchler on Remote Collaboration ...

21/04/2021

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Spectra Logic's Hossein ZiaShakeri on Evolution of the Storage Industry and the Power of StorCycle

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Spectra Logic's Hossein ZiaShakeri on Evolution of...

21/04/2021

SVG SportsTech On Demand: disguise's Tom Rockhill on the Unlimited Options of xR Technology

SVG SportsTech On Demand: disguise's Tom Rockhill on the Unlimited Options o...

21/04/2021

SVG SportsTech On Demand: BirdDog's Dan Miall on the Power of NDI

SVG SportsTech On Demand: BirdDog's Dan Miall on the Power of NDI By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 9:20 am Print Thi...

21/04/2021

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Blackmagic Design's Bob Caniglia Discusses Expanded ATEM Lineup and More

SVG SportsTech On Demand: Blackmagic Design's Bob Caniglia Discusses Expande...

21/04/2021

IBC Still Planning on In-Person September Event But Has Fall-Back Option in December

IBC Still Planning on In-Person September Event But Has Fall-Back Option in Dece...

21/04/2021

At the Rink: Washington Capitals Approach Regular Season With Virtual Gameday Digital Experience, Traditional In-Venue Flair

At the Rink: Washington Capitals Approach Regular Season With Virtual Gameday Di...

21/04/2021

Inside the ESPN's NBA Daily Wager Special: How ESPN Produced Its First Sports-Betting-Driven Broadcast

Inside the ESPN's NBA Daily Wager Special: How ESPN Produced Its First Sport...

21/04/2021

STN IP Protection Suite

Maximize and protect your IP with the STN IP Protection Suite . From new users to expert searchers, at all stages of your innovation journey, STN has the soluti...

21/04/2021

LIVE LIFE LOUD - Sony introduces new X-Series range with 3 new powerful wireless speakers

Get bigger sound with Omnidirectional Party Sound on the SRS-XP700 Experience P...

21/04/2021

Hanging in the Balance: More Research Coordination, Collaboration Needed for AI to Reach Its Potential, Experts Say

As AI is increasingly established as a world-changing field, the U.S. has an opp...

21/04/2021

The Future's So Bright: NVIDIA DRIVE Shines at Auto Shanghai

NVIDIA DRIVE-powered cars electrified the atmosphere this week at Auto Shanghai. The global auto show is the oldest in China and has become the stage to debut ...

21/04/2021

Penta and DADman Ready for Big Sur

Tekst: Penta and DADman Ready for Big Sur Upon thorough testing, we are happy to announce that the most recent DADman version for macOS (v. 5.4.5 build 1) is...

21/04/2021

Etisalat and Nokia provide ultra-fast 5G broadband services in the UAE

Etisalat and Nokia provide ultra-fast 5G broadband services in the UAE Press Release Etisalat and Nokia provide ultra-fast 5G broadband services in the UAE ...

21/04/2021

Ragnarok season 2 is coming to Netflix on May 27

Back to All News Ragnarok season 2 is coming to Netflix on May 27 Entertainment 21 April 2021 GlobalNorwayDenmarkSweden View and download the first look im...

21/04/2021

Sardar Ka Grandson Welcomes You To Their Family!

Back to All News Sardar Ka Grandson Welcomes You To Their Family!Play Video Play Video Entertainment 21 April 2021 GlobalIndia Netflix launches the traile...

21/04/2021

UiPath: The Automation IPO

Our first meeting with Daniel at Fish House in Bucharest. Try the Salt-Crusted Sea Bass! By Eric Liaw, Alex Lim, Jules Maltz, and Jason Kong Today, we are exc...

21/04/2021

ITV named a Top 10 Inclusive Employer by the British LGBT Awards

ITV named a Top 10 Inclusive Employer by the British LGBT Awards ITV has been named as one of the top 10 most inclusive employers by the prestigious British LG...

21/04/2021

First look image of Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend

First look image of Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend Guest cast announced The Bay Series 3 The Bay adds over one million viewers as an average of 8 milli...

21/04/2021

Fox Corporation Executives to Discuss Third Quarter Fiscal 2021 Financial Results Via Webcast

Fox Corporation Executives to Discuss Third Quarter Fiscal 2021 Financial Result...

21/04/2021

TechnipFMC Awarded a Significant Subsea Contract for Petrobras' Marlim and Voador Fields

Press release | April 20 2021 TechnipFMC Awarded a Significant Subsea Contract...

21/04/2021

Colour Online: Film Awards Season Webinar. Thursday, April 29

Let's celebrate the recent nominees and winners of this year's awards season. Register now FilmLight is hosting a discussion with the talents who have...

21/04/2021

Delphine Ernotte Cunci, EBU President, launches the TV Assembly 2021

Delphine Ernotte Cunci, EBU President, launches the TV Assembly 2021...

21/04/2021

Cisco Commits $100 Million to Help Address Climate Crisis

News Summary: The Cisco Foundation is committing $100 million over ten years to help reverse the impact of climate change. Cisco will move the needle on cli...

21/04/2021

Seniors Become Tech in Spain with Onliners and Old Timers

Gestmusic, a Banijay Iberia company, confirms it will produce Onliners and Old Timers (Canvi de Xip) in collaboration with Catalan Ministry of Culture for TV3. ...

21/04/2021

Avid and Dolby Deliver Industry First Pro Tools Dolby Atmos Production Course and Certification

Avid and Dolby Deliver Industry First Pro Tools Dolby Atmos Production Course ...

21/04/2021

IBC set to go ahead as planned in September

Fall back dates for December are still in place, and an announcement on that is expected to be made in June By Jenny Priestley Published: April 21, 2021 Fa...

21/04/2021

Orchestral Tools launch Tallinn

Chamber music with a Baltic twist Berlin-based sampling experts Orchestral Tools have just announced the release of Tallinn, a 43GB (92GB uncompressed) soft...

21/04/2021

YouTube Select Adds Seasonal Sponsorship Opportunities

YouTube said that it will be making seasonal sponsorships available as part of its Select premium advertising product, allowing marketers to own the top mom'...

21/04/2021

Primetime Ratings Monday: Fox on Top With 9-1-1'

Fox won the Monday ratings race with the return of 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star. Fox rated a 0.9 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 6 share. In s...

21/04/2021

PTC Issues Cord-Cutters Guide to Streaming Services

In its first report under its rebrand as the Parents Television & Media Counsel, PTC said there are upsides and downsides to streaming media that families need ...

21/04/2021

Syndication Ratings: Aaron Rodgers Leads Jeopardy!' to Weekly Win

Aaron Rodgers, playing guest host for two weeks, gave CBS Media Ventures' Jeopardy! a big boost in the session ending April 11. Rodgers, the star quarterbac...

21/04/2021

Deadliest Catch: Bloodline' on Discovery Plus April 20

A new season of Deadliest Catch: Bloodline is on Discovery Plus April 20. Captain Josh Harris and business partner Casey McManus venture to Hawaii after discove...

21/04/2021

Netflix Adds Just 4 Million New Subscribers in 1st Quarter

Netflix added just 3.98 million streaming subscribers worldwide in the first quarter after adding 15.77 million a year ago as the COVID-19 pandemic set in....