Mandatory furlough announced for all USU employees
February 3, 2009 | A mandatory furlough was announced
today by Utah State University President Stan L. Albrecht
for all full- and part-time university employees in
an effort to stave off immediate widespread layoffs
as a result of a second round of budget cuts.
Each USU employee will be required to take leave without
pay for five work days during spring break, March 9-13.
During that week, the university will be closed. This
decision was made based on action taken late Friday
by the Legislative Executive Appropriations Committee
that requires an additional budget reduction for USU
of approximately $5.65 million.
“With just five months left in the fiscal year, and
because most of our funds for fiscal year 2009 are already
committed to salaries and programmatic support, it is
essential that we move quickly now that we know the
magnitude of the additional holdback,” Albrecht said.
The president underscored that these additional cuts
to be taken this year are on top of the 4 percent budget
reduction (both one-time and ongoing) that the university
has already taken as a result of actions approved last
September during a special legislative session.
This furlough does not address the ongoing cuts or
any new cuts that will be imposed for fiscal year 2010.
Albrecht said the university will not know the magnitude
of those reductions until later in the legislative session,
and certainly not before the release of the fourth quarter
revenue numbers that will occur the second week of February.
Although imposing a mandatory furlough was a difficult
decision to reach, Albrecht said the alternative of
permanently laying off employees was even more untenable.
“We have tried to be particularly sensitive to the
loss of jobs, which would be so devastating to individuals
and their families,” Albrecht said. “I should note that
as we have visited with groups of faculty and staff,
a common message has been that, to the extent possible,
our employees would prefer to find some way to share
the pain of the reduction, rather than see large numbers
of their colleagues lose their jobs.”
Albrecht emphasized that the university remains committed
to minimizing the impacts on enrolled students who need
to finish the current semester’s classes or complete
their requirements for graduating on time.
He said the university will impose a mandatory five-day
furlough across all employee groups. This action will
generate approximately 60 percent of the amount required
for the reduction. The remaining amount will be distributed
across campus units.
“By addressing as much of this as is possible from
central sources, we anticipate that the impact on other
units will be modest approximately 0.65 percent,”
he said. “While any additional cuts are difficult, we
believe these actions will allow us to meet the FY 2009
reduction without significant damage to our core programs
and functions or to our students.”
Albrecht said the financial impact on employees of
the five furloughed days will be spread across five
monthly pay periods - March, April, May, June and July,
2009. Therefore, paychecks of all employees will be
reduced by the equivalent of one day’s salary for each
month over the next five months, beginning with the
March paycheck. The amount will be prorated for part-time
USU employs 2,995: 921 full-time faculty, 36 part-time
faculty, 1,779 full-time support staff and 259 part-time
In October, Albrecht announced the appointment of
a six-member Budget Reduction Committee charged with
developing a plan for absorbing reductions imposed by
the state legislature in September. Their recommendation
of one-time cuts of $6,954,909 was imposed prior to
the end of December. The reduction impacted all units
of the university.
In addition to the furlough, the president is asking
university administrators to develop a plan for further
cuts in their units. These plans will be reviewed by
the existing six-member Budget Reduction Committee.
Albrecht said that despite the furlough and the budget
relief that it will bring to diminishing university
coffers, USU can expect difficult challenges ahead.
He said he is being reassured that the governor and
legislative leadership are working to find ways to lessen
the ongoing reduction for fiscal year 2010 to a number
below the 15 percent base decrease that has been publicly
“We will be working hard to support these efforts,”
he said. “Nevertheless, we cannot assume that we are
through the worst of this difficulty until we see some
evidence that the economy is making a positive turn.”
Albrecht said the university will continue to look
for creative ways to help address future budget challenges,
including early retirement options. He announced that
later in the week the university will make available
a voluntary separation incentive plan that outlines
a series of options that administrators can discuss
with interested employees. To read the president’s complete
message to university employees, click on this link: