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Kent State announces 20% budget cuts, including salary reductions and lay offs for 2021 fiscal year

Kent State University
Posted at 12:01 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 12:01:49-04

KENT, Ohio — On Monday, Kent State University announced it would continue a pause on university-sponsored travel, maintain a hiring freeze and cutting staff in an effort to establish a balanced budget for the 2021 fiscal year, according to a release from the school.

School officials said it will reduce the operating budget by 20%, which means a reduction in staff salaries as 70% of the university’s budget is comprised of salaries and benefits.

Staff salaries will be temporarily reduced through the Fiscal Year 2021, which ends June 30, 2021. The school’s president, Todd Diacon, will take a 12.5% salary cut along with others in the following range:

  • Cabinet, deans and those with salaries of $200,000 or greater – 10%
  • $150,000 - $199,999 – 7%
  • $100,000 - $149,999 – 5%
  • $50,000 - $99,999 – 4%
  • $38,000 - $49,999 – 2%
  • Under $38,000 – No reduction

Those whose salaries are being adjusted will be granted leave days that may be used in lieu of, or in addition to, vacation days. Those with a salaries of $50,000 or more will receive 10 days of leave for use during 2021 fiscal year. Staff with salaries $38,000 to $49,000 will receive five leave days.

Kent State said implementing a 20% budget cut will require layoffs and job abolishments.

The number of layoffs and job abolishments will depend on the length of the COVID-19 crisis and on the number of current employees who are not represented by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-KSU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) who participate in the following voluntary separation incentive package, according to the university:

  • Three months’ salary.
  • An additional three months of salary or $20,000 (whichever is less).
  • Retention of tuition waiver benefits for four years.
  • The option of continuing healthcare coverage for up to six months (employee continues to pay their premium contribution).
  • Payout of current leave time according to university policies.

The university will continue to implement cost-saving measures, including a pause on on-campus construction projects, no overtime and limit spending on discretionary items such as office supplies and consulting services.