UW-Green Bay announces furloughs

Posted on Apr 24, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
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The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is placing some employees on furlough due to the financial strains of COVID-19.

UW-Green Bay Interim Chancellor Sheryl Van Gruensven said 227 staff members would be placed on furlough from May 2 to May 31. In addition, all administrators with an annual salary above $100,000 are also taking a voluntary furlough.

“Although our financial health is not in jeopardy at this particular time, the reality is, we lost $3 million in revenue in just the past month, and we must navigate risk until we can find some level of normalcy,” Van Gruensven said. “We must also position ourselves to maintain healthy cash balances in the event we experience additional losses in revenue and other funding sources.”

Furloughed staff members received notice from their supervisors on Thursday. They will be able to retain their benefits but will still be eligible for unemployment compensation.

UW-Green Bay closed its campus through May 31 following Wisconsin’s Safer at Home extension. This summer, the university will deliver more than 200 classes online. It canceled on-campus summer camps and is providing several new online and remotely delivered camp experiences instead. That decision drastically cut the workload for some employees.

Because of travel restrictions, the uncertainty of international education opportunities and the immediate drastic decrease in international activity, UW-Green Bay also laid off four positions in the Office of International Education.

In addition to furloughs of some of its staff members, UW-Green Bay Athletics announced the suspension of its men’s and women’s tennis teams indefinitely at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year. Several longstanding challenges have continued to hinder the opportunity to grow program and have contributed to rising costs that outpace revenue. The university will save approximately $170,000 on its operations annually and $160,000 in athletic tuition scholarships awarded per year.

UW-Green Bay expects to see about $250,000 in cost recovery with the furlough, in addition to the savings from international education and athletics.

Last week, UW-Oshkosh announced plans to place some employees on furloughs starting May 4 in response to the financial strain brought on by COVID-19. The UW System Board of Regents’ Executive Committee announced in mid-April that individual schools could furlough employees to combat their financial troubles.

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