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Financial Planning During the Pandemic

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Universities did not anticipate a black swan event with an impact to the degree we have experienced during this pandemic.

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From our presentation at WACUBO 2021, this session discusses how financial planning and sophisticated models helped Oregon State University navigate the financial impacts of the pandemic.

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The University had a robust financial planning model in place and was able to use it to communicate with the Board and other key stakeholders how revenues and expenses are likely going to be impacted. It allowed the University to understand near-term reactive decisions (moving to online learning) and make long-term strategic decisions.

This allowed the University to issue $300 million in new debt to finance future capital projects, strategic initiatives, and bolster near term liquidity. This session describes how long-term financial planning helped the University make decisions and evaluate the various outcomes of potential scenarios.


Heather Hesano, Director of Treasury – Oregon State University

Thomas Toepfer, Director – PFM

Derek Freitag, Strategic Account Executive – Synario