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Cleveland State University announces four-week staff furloughs as part of plan to deal with financial losses due to COVID-19

The plan also includes salary reductions and a hiring freeze.

CLEVELAND — On Friday, Cleveland State University announced a number of temporary actions to address the financial impact of COVID-19 on their fiscal year 2020 and 2021 budgets. 

Effective immediately, staff will be furloughed for four weeks. They will continue to receive all of their CSU-provided benefits, as well as being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits and Federal CARES Act support.

There will also be temporary, stratified administrative salary reductions for a period of six months. Cleveland State President Harlan Sands will be taking a 12.5% reduction; those with salaries of $200,000 or greater will have a 10% reduction; salaries of $150,000-$199,000 an 8% cut; and salaries less than $150,000 will see a 6% cut.

The University will also be under a hiring freeze and recruitment efforts for approximately 70 vacant staff positions will be suspended.

"To create a stronger CSU that best prepares us for post-COVID higher education realities, we need to take both immediate action and plan for additional, near-term changes that reinforces our commitment to engaged learning and service to our students as our highest priorities," said CSU President Harlan Sands. "At times like these, we also need to continue to invest in ways that advance our shared future. We are doing that today."

CSU's fiscal budgets for the next two years are being impacted by reductions in state funding, campus operations since early March and the anticipated decline in enrollment in fall 2020. There were also additional operating expenses in response to the pandemic as the school moved over 2,000 courses to online teaching and learning. Financial losses for 2020 have already exceeded $8 million, while projections for 2021 could see losses north of $37 million.

Despite the current financial impact, the University says it has created four new areas for comprehensive review and study to identify additional opportunities for growth, savings and streamlined efficiency.

CSU reaffirmed their commitment to hire up to 30 additional faculty after the hiring freeze that will see growth in areas such as computer science, information technology, health care and biomedical research. 

They also introduced a new student recruitment initiative called "the CSU 2-for-1 Tuition Promise," which will see all incoming freshman to receive full tuition funding for spring 2021 after completing the fall semester successfully. Full details on this program will be released in the future.

"Even in these challenging times, making strategic investments is critical to our long-term growth and success," added President Sands. 

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