Cleveland State University announces furloughs, pay cuts and more

The university has exceed losses of $8 million in 2020 fiscal year, and projected deficits could exceed $37 million in 2021 fiscal year.

Cleveland State University announces furloughs, pay cuts and more
Cleveland State University suffers damage during protests from Saturday (Source: Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland State University announced Thursday furloughs, pay cuts, and also that during the 2020 fiscal year, they have exceeded $8 million in losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The university said finances are being impacted by reductions in state funding, significantly reduced campus operations since early March, anticipated enrollment declines in fall 2020 and additional operating expenses from the pandemic response and shifting more than 2,000 courses to online teaching and learning. Fiscal year 2020 losses already exceed $8 million, and projected deficits for fiscal year 2021 could exceed $37 million.

“To create a stronger CSU that best prepares us for post-COVID higher education realities, we need to take both immediate action and plan for additional, near-term changes that reinforces our commitment to engaged learning and service to our students as our highest priorities,” said CSU President Harlan Sands in a released statement. “At times like these, we also need to continue to invest in ourselves in ways that advance our shared future. We are doing that today.”

The university announced four-week staff furloughs. Which means, furloughed employees will continue to receive all CSU-provided benefits in addition to being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits and Federal CARES Act support.

The following pay cuts are for a period of six months, and they were announced by the university:

  • President – 12.5%
  • Salaries of $200,000 or greater – 10%
  • Salaries of $150,000 - $199,999 – 8%
  • Salaries less than $150,000 – 6%

A hiring freeze will be placed, and recruitment efforts will be suspended for approximately 70 currently open staff positions, the university said. There will also be reduced discretionary spending, which is that non-critical spending from discretionary accounts such as supplies and travel will be heavily restricted.

“The CSU Board of Trustees fully supports the recommendations made by President Sands, and looks forward to working with him as he executes the plans laid out. We are confident that CSU will continue to be the anchor and beacon institution Cleveland needs to achieve our common goals,” said CSU Board of Trustees Chairman David Gunning in a released statement.

The university reaffirmed its commitment to hire up to 30 additional faculty in areas of growth such as computer science, information technology, health care and biomedical research, and introduced a new student recruitment and progression initiative called “the CSU 2-for-1 Tuition Promise," where all incoming freshman will receive full funding for spring 2021 tuition after successful completion of the fall semester.

The university said full details on the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise will be coming soon.

“Even in these challenging times, making strategic investments is critical to our long-term growth and success,” said President Sands in a released statement.

You can read more here.

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