Date:September 19, 2021, October 4, 2021, November 8, 2021, November 18, 2021
We investigated Rutgers University’s finances during the COVID-19 pandemic due to significant concerns from students and faculty. The University received approximately $365 million in federal and state emergency aid to offset pandemic related expenses, but we discovered that these unprecedented infusions of government aid were occurring with virtually no transparency. Our investigation found that Rutgers was slow to utilize the bulk of this funding despite claiming to be in a fiscal crisis and laying off around 1,500 employees. We also revealed that the University did not properly account for the funding in their financial disclosures, often changing the reports after they were filed with little explanation as to where the money was going. Among the funding awarded to the University, $1.15 million of state aid went to to compensate Rutgers for killing 23,000 research mice, but Rutgers officials initially denied the mass euthanizing had even occurred until we confronted them with a line item in their own report to the state Department of Education, a report we had obtained under an Open Public Records request to the state.