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UGA Faculty and Staff Facing Furloughs

University of Georgia faculty, staff and administrators will be furloughed over the coming year under a plan to deal with a looming state budget shortfall.

The Board of Regents approved the plan proposed by University System Chancellor Steve Wrigley in a called meeting conducted via conference call this morning.

The system’s lowest-paid employees are exempt, but most employees will have to take four or eight furlough days, depending on their salary. Higher-paid employees will take 16 unpaid days off. The highest—Wrigley and college and university presidents—will take 26 days, the equivalent of a 10% salary cut.

UGA employs about 11,000 people, making it by far the largest employer in Athens.

Layoffs and frozen positions are also possible, but those decisions will left to individual institutions. Wrigley urged them to make “strategic” cuts, rather than cut across the board.

Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered all state agencies to submit plans to cut 14% from their budgets—a total of $3.5 billion—as tax revenue plummets during the coronavirus pandemic. Tax revenue was off by $1 billion in April—a 36% decline, according to the AJC

Members of the House and Senate appropriations committees are meeting online to discuss the budget, but the full legislature won’t reconvene in person to pass a spending plan for fiscal 2021 until mid-June. The legislature, which has been in recess since March after several members contracted COVID-19, is constitutionally required to pass a budget by July 1 before adjourning.