Updated: July 13, 2020 at 7:00AM
Work From Home
In Phase 2 of the University’s reopening plan, employees are expected to work from home until further notice unless their responsibilities require them to be on campus. Managers and employees should have clear communication regarding the expectations for their work.
If employees have specific concerns that prevent them from performing their work on campus, they may contact their Human Resources Consultant for further direction. For guidance on remote work, please refer to the Remote Work Toolkit.
The University is following developments in decision-making regarding local public schools and childcare facilities closely and will develop contingency plans around different potential outcomes. On Friday, June 5, Governor Holcomb issued his K-12 guidance. In response, the University plans to convene a group of faculty and staff to inform our approaches as local school leaders formulate plans for the upcoming school year. Maura Ryan and Bob McQuade will lead a working group on this topic. If you have thoughts, or would like to participate in some way (serving on the working group, participating in a listening session, etc.), please let us know. We welcome engagement from faculty, graduate students, and staff alike.
For the upcoming fiscal year, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, the University is currently projecting a revenue shortfall in excess of $100 million, compared to our original budget plans, due to increased financial aid expenditures, flat endowment payout, lower auxiliary revenue and projected lower levels of philanthropy. These financial challenges are not limited to fiscal year 2021. We anticipate continuing impacts on our budget for the foreseeable future.
Units across the University have prepared 5 percent reduction plans on the unrestricted portion of their budgets. The University implemented similar measures during the last two major recessions. We are asking all units to execute a 2.5 percent budget reduction for fiscal year 2021 and an additional 2.5 percent for fiscal year 2022.
Open/Unfilled Staff Positions
A staff hiring freeze was announced in March, and will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Any exceptions, which will be very limited (e.g., grant or endowment funded staff), will require Executive Officer approval. In addition, existing and open or unfilled staff lines supported by unrestricted funds will be permanently utilized to offset the multi-fiscal-year impact of the pandemic on the budget.
Return to Normal Pay Practices
In response to county and state stay-at-home orders initiated in March, the University instituted a Pay Continuation Program to ensure that those full and part-time staff who were unable to work or without work would continue to receive pay and benefits. By providing this Pay Continuation Program, the University was able to minimize non-essential services on campus, maintaining the health and well-being of the community without adversely affecting staff financially.
With the return of students to campus in early August, we also look forward to the return of many more staff to ensure we can continue to provide great service to our various campus stakeholders. The Pay Continuation Program will continue until July 31, 2020. Beginning August 1, the University will pay staff members for their hours worked.
A handful of our peer institutions have reduced or eliminated the employer 403(b) match for the upcoming fiscal year. The University will host a series of listening sessions with faculty and staff as we consider this option (and welcome your feedback more broadly). If the University were to reduce any portion of the match for a period of time, it would not take effect before January 1, 2021.
Job Reassignment Program
As a result of new and increased demand for work needed in areas related to health and safety and reduced responsibilities in areas such as campus events and retail, the University instituted a Job Reassignment Program for staff members in a limited number of departments to provide opportunities to our current staff members to fill emerging workforce needs.
University staff members who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had little or no essential work were offered roles as part of the Job Reassignment Program. This reassignment opportunity was extended to approximately 70 current staff members who have the option to take another position on campus with full benefits and to remain at their current pay or select a voluntary furlough for up to six months. Staff who enter into the Job Reassignment Program have already been notified and are working with the Office of Human Resources for placement in an available position on or before August 1, 2020.