COVID impact leads to staff furloughs and budget cuts at Creighton

190 employees being furloughed
Posted at 1:51 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 16:29:30-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The economic impact of coronavirus is hitting businesses hard and universities are no exception. In a release, Creighton University announced several budget-cutting initiatives including the furlough of 190 employees and the suspension of its contribution to the employee retirement fund.

While many of its employees are able to work from home, others don't have the option.

“Like other institutions of higher education, Creighton has experienced a dramatic operational shift to virtual formats and remote working arrangements, mostly to great effect, thanks to innovative and committed faculty and staff,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD. “However, we also recognize that this shift is resulting in a significant lack of work for some employees, and others may not be able to work from home at all because of their roles.”

While on furlough, employees will retain their seniority and the university will continue to pay "its regular contribution and the furloughed employees’ portion of medical insurance premiums."

To further assist employees, Creighton has created a relief fund which executive staff have pledged to support.

Creighton is estimating a $10 million loss of revenue through the fiscal year which ends on June 30. It plans to cut at least $35 million to cover projected losses and more cuts could still be coming depending on enrollment and "residential housing scenarios."

Pay increases based on merit and discretionary spending will be suspended to help balance the budget. Beginning July 1, the university will also be suspending its contributions to the employee retirement plan.

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