With the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, our State and local funding partners are facing significant financial challenges due to uncertainty in revenue streams. The impact of the economic downturn is expected to continue through FY 2020-2021. As a result, the recently enacted State budget, effective Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2020, includes a provision whereby authorized spending levels can be reduced three times throughout the FY 2020-2021 fiscal year. The three points of the year where this can occur are Apr. 30, June 30, and Dec. 31.

Revenue decline estimates range between $4 billion and as high as $19 billion. For the 11 senior colleges, an eight-percent reduction in state funding represents a $110 million impact.

Accordingly, to lessen the impact to the campus community of these budget cuts, the following actions are required:


All purchasing will be limited to COVID-19-related transactions and preparing for Summer 2020 classes. The following actions are required:

-Requisitions currently in CUNYFirst that do not meet this criteria must be canceled.

-Ensure sufficient budget balances are available prior to entering requisitions in CUNYFirst to avoid delays in processing.

-All COVID-19 requisitions must use program code 80431 and include the word “COVID-19” in the description field for tracking and reporting purposes.

-All goods and services must be delivered by Tuesday, June 30, 2020 to be expensed for the current year.

-Requisitions must be submitted no later than close of business on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Purchase Orders

All Purchase Orders (PO) with outstanding balances (encumbrances) must be reviewed to determine if they can be closed. A list of open POs can be obtained from the Budget Office. The following actions are required:

• For POs issued prior to the State mandated work-from-home order:

-Must be reviewed to prevent unnecessary expenditures from being incurred.

-All COVID-19-related expenses should be identified and forwarded to the Budget Office for tracking and reporting purposes.

-Departments must ensure that vendors have invoiced for all goods and services received and receipts have been entered in CUNYFirst for payment prior to closing the PO.


Consistent with prior University guidance, all non-essential University-related international and domestic travel is indefinitely suspended at this time. Reimbursements for prior authorized travel must be submitted no later than close of business on Friday, May 8, 2020. Submissions after this date will not be processed.

The following Business Office team members are available to assist with any questions or guidance needed:

Budget/Fiscal Systems: kevinascolese@csi.cuny.edu

Purchasing:​​​ natalya.gnyp@csi.cuny.edu

Accounts Payable: ​dina.macleod@csi.cuny.edu

By Carlos A. Serrano