Clemson University on Monday, Aug. 24, announced it will introduce involuntary furloughs and voluntary pay cuts across the state, which will affect about half of the university’s employees.
In an email addressed to faculty and staff, university President Jim Clements said the actions came from the school’s attempt to stymie the negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That impact could be upwards of $180 million by the end of the school’s fiscal year.
“To compound our challenges, we were simply not in a position to increase tuition at a time when many of our students are suffering economic hardship,” Clements said in the email. “And while we are working in earnest with our congressional and state leaders, additional revenues coming to the university from state and federal sources are not yet known.”
Clements wrote that the actions will begin on Sept. 1 and will generate approximately $8 million in personnel savings.
State employees will be furloughed while Clements and 88 employees in the athletics department will receive pay cuts. Clemson employees earning less than $50,000 will not be affected by these actions. Highest earners at the university will be furloughed for 12 days. Furloughs, according to Clements, will continue until Dec. 31.
Athletics staff members who make $400,000 or higher will have at least a 10% pay cut. Clements will take a 10% pay cut from his compensation.
“These are indeed very challenging times, and we are all in this together. I know that losing any compensation is difficult. Moving forward, we will continue to operate as efficiently as possible while still delivering a first-rate education to our students,” Clements said, adding that the actual impact of the pandemic will not be immediately known.