Ohio University Will Refund Wages Lost Through Furloughs

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University employees will be refunded all the income they lost because of the nine months of mandatory furloughs.

President Duane Nellis announced the refunds in an email to employees Thursday morning and said they were made possible because the university is ending the fiscal year with a significant budget surplus.

Refunds for current employees should be processed later this month.

The university imposed the mandatory furloughs at the start of the fiscal year to help address chronic budget deficits expected to grow even more severe because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The furloughs required employees to take a certain number of days off without pay depending on their salary.

Thanks in large part to several rounds of federal stimulus aid and a restoration of state funding, the university realized a few months ago that it was going to end the fiscal year with millions of dollars in surplus.

The university announced in March that it was ending the furloughs early because of the surplus, three months before the end of the fiscal year. Nellis said at the time that his leadership team would consider refunding some of all of the lost income.

Nellis noted in his email Thursday that the federal stimulus funding, which was tied to the pandemic, provided temporary relief and that moving forward the university still faces ongoing budget challenges.