University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy, the four campus chancellors and the seven executive staff members will take a 10% pay cut through furloughs, university officials announced Wednesday in a letter to faculty and staff members.
The pay cuts will save $383,877 annually, CU spokesman Ken McConnellogue said.
Budget requests for salary increases for employees across all campuses also were withdrawn, according to the letter, and salaries are set to stay the same, for now.
Adjustments to salaries may still happen after more information is available in mid-May on the state’s budget and additional funding CU may receive through the federal stimulus package, McConnellogue said.
The 10% pay cut and salary freeze are the most recent of several measures the university system has taken to try to mitigate the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Those include a “hiring chill,” with only critical positions filled, and a likely reduction to deferred maintenance funding.
CU’s forecast shows state revenue will be down by an estimated $3 billion from the governor’s original budget request, which “will mean cuts to all areas of the state budget, including higher education,” according to the letter.
While enrollment increases helped make up the gap from state budget cuts after the 2008 recession, CU officials have said, the system does not expect to see similar enrollment increases in the fall.
“Enrollment is a significant driver of our budget, so safely re-opening our campuses to the extent possible is our goal,” according to the letter. “We are cautiously optimistic we can do so in some form, with the large caveat that the progress of COVID-19 and the extent of social distancing guidelines will determine what reopening looks like.”
University officials also are discussing “phased and cautious returns to offices, following guidelines by cities and the state,” according to the letter, while some employees are expected to continue working remotely “for some time to come.”
Coronavirus restrictions are easing in Colorado, with Gov. Jared Polis letting the statewide stay-at-home order expire on Sunday and allowing some businesses to reopen next week and some offices to return to half-capacity the following week.
Two initiatives, online education and evaluation and improvements of the system’s technology infrastructure, now are starting implementation after being paused while the university responded to the coronavirus, according to the letter.
“The current crisis magnifies the critical need for improvements in these areas,” according to the letter.