‘This is something I wished I’d never have to do’: Myers gives furlough updates

(File Photo by Dalton Wainscott | Collegian Media Group)

In a virtual town hall on Friday morning, President Richard Myers, Provost Charles Taber and Jay Stephens, vice president for Human Capital Services, released the updated administrative furlough information for fiscal year 2021.

As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, declining enrollment and uncertainties in state funding, the university is dealing with substantial fiscal challenges, they said.

To date, the spring and summer 2020 emergency furloughs have impacted 430 employees and have totaled an estimated $2.75 million in savings or cost avoidance. Additional administrative furloughs are predicted to impact about 1,438 employees with an estimated $5.9 million in targeted salary cost reductions.

Seven colleges and units are using administrative furloughs within their budget reductions plans. This includes the following colleges and departments:

  • The College of Agriculture
  • Cooperative Extension
  • The College of Architecture, Planning and Design
  • The College of Arts and Sciences
  • The College of Health and Human Sciences
  • The Division of Communications and Marketing
  • The Office of International Programs
  • The Office of the President.

Also, a six-tier salary structure was designed to help each college or unit leader make furlough decisions in order to meet the needs of their specific budgets. According to Taber, this was essential in providing flexibility for each college and unit since they all face different budget circumstances.

“The budget situations in one part of the university is different from those in another part of the university, and in addition, the nature of the job, of the workforce, is very different in different parts of the university,” Taber said. “So a one size fits all was not going to work for us and so we decided to go with this approach.”

All furloughed employees will be notified with an explanation of how the furlough will impact their position.

The earliest date in which these administrative furlough plans will be implemented is Aug. 9, and can continue through the end of fiscal year 21. Each college or unit leader has the ability to determine the timing and dates for furloughs depending upon each unit’s individual needs.

Colleges and units’ individual plans can be found on the Human Capital Services webpage.

In each unit’s plan, there are certain positions, classes, organizational units and geographical areas, etc. that are exempt. Though the exemptions differ within each unit’s plan, some of the criteria that was included in making these decisions includes budget needs, business needs, instructional needs, funding sources and more.

“We have a great community in Manhattan,” Myers said. “They are with us in this COVID-19 fight, very strongly with us, and that’s going to be important as we go here in about a month or so and students start coming back together. Despite the fact this is unprecedented, we’re gonna get through this challenging year.”

For any additional questions that are not addressed on the website, contact HCS at hr@ksu.edu. Benefit related questions can be sent to benefits@ksu.edu.