The University of Arizona is projecting a $250 million loss due to coronavirus-related shutdowns and the long term impact of the pandemic, institution president Dr. Robert C. Robbins, told the Arizona Daily Star late last week, reported Tucson.com.
Losses could touch as much as $500 million if students aren’t able to return to campus this coming fall.
To brace for this “extreme” economic consequence, the university is implementing furloughs and pay cuts for staff and faculty that are set to start May 11 and last through June 2021. Employees who make $150,001 or more would be required to take at least a 17% pay cut, and those who make less than that would have to take unpaid work days that must result in at least a 5% salary reduction.
When asked if he sees layoffs in the near or medium term, Robbins said they remain “possible going forward.”
He said the university expects salary furloughs to save $90-95 million and an already instituted hiring freeze to save $50-60 million. In addition, the university has stopped $7 million of building projects and withheld some $22 million in investment in the strategic plan. It has also delayed merit increases and in March implemented a 20% reduction in executive leadership pay.