Kansas State University President, Richard Myers, announces major financial cutbacks university-wide on Wednesday afternoon.
Among the cutbacks include things like a continued hiring freeze, voluntary salary reductions in many high up staff and in the athletic department, and emergency furloughs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has economic implications for our state tax revenues,” Myers said. “That means uncertain state funding. Near certain enrollment declines and continued losses from operations threaten our ongoing financial viability. For example, by July 31 we will have lost $35 million in revenue from the move to remote instruction and limited operations. We issued over $8 million in refunds to students from Housing and Dining and lowered our tuition and fee structure to help students with costs this summer. As we look to the fall semester and beyond it is imperative we move with urgency to take even more difficult steps to protect the financial state of the university.”
The school says that it is implementing targeted emergency furloughs for areas where there is an immediate or imminent lack of funding to continue operations. They have asked Human Capital Services to provide updated information about how this will function in conjunction with state and federal aid for employees. However, it is not clear which departments of the university will be impacted or how Kansas State Polytechnic in Salina will be impacted.
Myers also noted that the President, provost, cabinet members and senior administrators are voluntarily taking a 10% reduction in salary for the next fiscal year. Planned departmental budget cuts will save approximately $2 million in operating costs.
Also taking pay cuts is nearly the entire K-State Sports staff. Myers says that salary reductions have been implemented for 42 coaches and staff members, designed to save $1.5 million over the next year.
The school will also be phasing out the use of administrative leave for employees who are unable to work due to limited operations by May 30.
While the state of Kansas appears to be nearing reopening some parts of the economy, not much has been said about the fall and what colleges in the state will face or whether or not they’ll have to continue online courses.
Myers hopes that K-State will have in-person classes in the fall, but says local health guidelines will dictate that decision.
“Last week we announced the formation of an executive leadership recovery team tasked with developing plans and timelines for resuming full operations. This team will work within federal, state and local health guidelines to chart a course forward,” says Myers. “We hope to have classes on campus in the fall, but there are certain conditions that must be met, including the widespread availability of testing, a sustained reduction of COVID-19 cases in our communities, and the ability to maintain physical distancing in work environments. We anticipate sharing plans with the campus community soon.”
Myers full letter to university staff can be seen here: https://www.k-state.edu/today/info/announcement/?id=64673