Quick Look: Ohio University Faculty Given One Year Notice, Furlough Tiers Detailed

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Friday’s 5:41 p.m. email from Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis outlined what hundreds, by that time, knew – there had been another round of job cuts.

Nellis wrote that 94 administrators lost their jobs and, as of now, 53 instructors received official notice that they would be released from the university after the 2021-22 academic year. The non-tenured instructional faculty received one year’s notice about their non-renewal in order to comply with the faculty handbook’s non-renewal procedures.

WOUB News has asked for clarity on how much money is expected to be saved with these job eliminations.

While “reduction-in-force” benefits vary by job category, most administrative staff will get one to three months severance pay. Laid-off staff will also get to keep their tuition assistance benefits for their enrolled student.

On May 1, 140 facilities and culinary services workers learned their jobs would be abolished by June 1 in an effort to save more than $10M. Union members and others continue to protest those job eliminations.

More layoffs are expected.

Those who still have jobs will be expected to take payroll deductions in the form of furlough days. The university’s budget planning council helped develop a furlough policy that now allows for reductions based on income.

This measure is expected to save $13M and applies to all administrative, faculty and classified non-bargaining employees starting July 1.

Tiered furlough structure for certain Ohio U employees for Fiscal Year 2021

Nellis wrote, “Today’s actions were far-reaching, but I want to be upfront they will not be our final steps as we move toward the beginning of FY21.”

You can read the email in its entirety here: “Entering a time of difficult change

As previously reported, these job eliminations and budget constrictions are part of Ohio University’s response to the projected deficit that more than doubled because of the pandemic.

Provost Elizabeth Sayrs revisited some of the reasons for the shortfall in an email to faculty sent about 30 minutes after the president’s, adding, “before the pandemic, we were already anticipating using about $26M in reserves before June 30, 2020; now we anticipate using $50 to $55M in reserves in the same timeframe.”

You can read the provost’s May 15 email in its entirety here.

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