Birgeneau made the remarks on Thursday, as thousands of students returned for classes.
He says the school's budget woes increased private donations by $7 million this year to $313 million.
Students have also been forced to pay 32 percent more in tuition.
Last year, the school cut 600 positions through layoffs or attrition. It also imposed unpaid furloughs and eliminated courses.
But Birgeneau says this year the campus expects to hire 67 faculty members.
He says he is "cautiously optimistic" that the campus is on track to financial stability.