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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA President Robbins announces employee furlough, budget cuts in email

Rebecca Noble
President Dr. Robert Robbins speaks during a press conference at the UA College of Medicine, Phoenix on March 7.

In an email sent out to University of Arizona students and staff, President Robert C. Robbins announced furlough for employees and cuts made to the budget to make up for the estimated $66 million loss for this fiscal year.

“Because we are only a month into this crisis, we cannot know the full extent of its effects, but our most credible shortfall projections exceed $250 million,” said Robbins in the email.

According to Robbins, budget reallocations and RCM and administrative service charge tax increases totaled $30 million this year and they’re expecting losses of eight times that amount for next year. This will require layoff plans in administration, he wrote.

Robbins proposed the following furlough and pay reduction program for UA employees and staff to the Arizona Board of Regents:

  • For those within the salary bands up to $44,449 a year, a furlough of 13 days to be taken over time
  • For those within the salary bands of $44,500 to $75,000 a year, a furlough of 26 days to be taken over time
  • For those within the salary bands of $75,001 to $150,000 a year, a furlough of 39 days to be taken over time
  • For those within the salary bands of $150,001 to $199,999 a year, a straight salary reduction of 17%
  • For those within the salary bands of $200,000 or more a year, a salary reduction of 20%

The plan will be implemented from May 11, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Robbins said this plan will still let people “retain their employment and health care benefits.”

RELATED: Interview with UA President Robbins: COVID-19’s impact on financial state of the university

“It is projected that this program will generate approximately $93 million in savings to the institution,” wrote Robbins. “As significant as this plan is, it will cover less than 40% of our projected shortfall through June 30, 2021, even though salaries and benefits comprise more than 60% of our spending.”

Along with this plan, Robbins said they have also looked to eliminate expenses that have a limited effect on employees:

  • We have put a halt to approved building projects for savings of $7 million.
  • We have halted FY20 strategic plan funding for savings of $22 million.
  • We have instituted a hiring pause and delayed plans for merit increases to save another $26 million.
  • In March, senior vice presidents and I implemented immediate pay cuts for ourselves in recognition that at least that much would be required.

“The University has a complex structure with many different employment conditions to address, so I ask for your patience as we develop the implementation plans,” wrote Robbins. 

According to Robbins, a comprehensive FAQ page will be put online to address concerns regarding these changes. 

Visit this website to find more information on furlough and pay reduction. 

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