Marshall University president proposes temporary pay reductions for some employees

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert says he is preparing to submit a budget reduction proposal to the university’s Board of Governors which includes temporary salary cuts for some employees.

University officials say if the board approves the proposal, the university will implement Part 1 of the temporary salary reductions, which is for employees making $100,000 or more annually. The reductions will be effective with the pay period starting July 4, and employees with higher pay will have higher percentage reductions, with the maximum reduction being 15%.

Gilbert says the cost-cutting measures are necessary to balance the institution’s fiscal year 2021 budget in the face of projected enrollment declines for the fall semester due to COVID-19. University officials say no layoffs or terminations have been proposed.

“Let me assure you it is our intent for the temporary salary reductions to last no longer than one year,” he says. “It is possible salaries could be restored to their full levels at any time during the fiscal year, depending on university revenues. Vice President Mark Robinson and I will be closely monitoring our financial status to be prepared to take restorative action as soon as appropriate.”

The university president says administrators will know what to expect from tuition revenue after classes begin in August, and can determine whether or not additional salary reductions are necessary. If so, the university will implement Part 2 of the temporary salary reductions beginning August 29 for employees whose annual salaries range from $50,000 to $100,000. These employees would see lower reduction percentages than employees making more than $100,000.

Gilbert says employees with salaries below $50,000 will not experience any salary reductions.

In addition to the temporary salary reductions, the proposal to the board will include freezing vacant positions and State-funded travel; cutting back on campus events; reducing the number of graduate assistants and student workers; reducing operating, maintenance and utility budgets; and reducing the number of course sections to cut instructional expenses. In addition, the university will save $1 million a year due to the strategic refinancing of university bonds in April.

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