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COVID-19: UConn Announces Furloughs, Cuts

The University of Connecticut.
The University of Connecticut. Photo Credit: UConn

Facing the biggest budget deficit in history amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the University of Connecticut announced furloughs and cuts for some staff.

Beginning next month, non-union managers at the university will be furloughed without pay for one day a month - approximately 5 percent of their yearly salary - UConn President Tom Katsouleas wrote in a letter to staff last week.

The university’s budget is expected to top more than $50 million due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"While we have taken steps to ameliorate this by implementing hiring and spending restrictions, advocating for relief through the CARES act and Heroes Act and seeking state assistance, we still forecast a shortfall of more than $50 million in the best-case scenario for the coming year," Katsouleas said.

Furloughs are set to begin in July and last through the 2021 fiscal year. They are expected to save UConn approximately $5 million, impacting hundreds of employees. In addition to the furloughs, merit pay increases that had been budgeted for managers are also being delayed.

“Once the virus passes and we can resume full in-person operations, our student demand, faculty talent, and alumni support have never been stronger,” Katsouleas stated. “We expect our student, philanthropic, and research-based revenues to rebound.”

Similar measures are also being taken by UConn Health.

"Note that should we see unexpected significant improvements to our fiscal situation in the months ahead, we will certainly consider canceling or reducing the number of planned furlough days," Katsoules said.

"Along with the entire UConn community, I appreciate the hard work of our management team, who are leading the university through this difficult time. I recognize that our non-union management employee population is small but I believe taking these steps are necessary cost-savings measures."

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