BOISE, Idaho — Boise State employees are facing furloughs after the university lost nearly $10 million amid the coronavirus outbreak.
BSU President Dr. Marlene Tromp wrote in a letter to faculty and staff that she is hopeful the furloughs - periods of mandatory unpaid time off - will help the school stave off "what could be more grave action later."
Tromp wrote that the global pandemic has taken its toll on most colleges and universities across the country, and Boise State is no exception. Public universities, which operate on smaller financial reserves and have a higher population of students who need financial aid, are particularly hard-hit, she said.
With courses moving entirely online, Boise State has given students prorated refunds on dining, housing and parking fees, as well as canceled multiple events planned for the rest of the school year and into the summer - resulting in a loss of almost $10 million.
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"These totals do not include the 1 percent mid-year rescission we have already faced or the additional 2 percent base-budget cut we took for next year, nor does it account for any additional cuts should the state need to redistribute funding for direct response to COVID-19," Tromp wrote. "As we all know, these financial realities are compounded by the fact that the near future remains uncertain as the state, the nation, and our students and their families continue to respond to the crisis."
All staff and 12-month faculty who make $40,000 or more per year will be placed on furlough in the upcoming months. Administrators are included in the furloughs, but those teaching part-time over the summer are not.
The university released the following rubric for how much unpaid time off each employee must take:
- Annual salary of $150,000 or more - 10 furlough days
- Annual salary of $100,000-$149,999 - 7 furlough days
- Annual salary of $75,000-$99,999 - 5 furlough days
- Annual salary of $40,000-$74,999 - 4 furlough days
Tromp herself will take more than two weeks of unpaid time off, she wrote. The furloughs will be scheduled between May 3 and July 31.
The Boise State president added that the furloughs are aimed at preventing the university from having to cut any jobs.
"Boise State is a resilient institution that can emerge stronger on the other side of the crisis — just as it has every crisis it has faced before," Tromp wrote. "Our shared efforts will ensure that the university can deliver on our mission to change the lives of students, offer pathbreaking research and serve the state for generations."
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