Ensuring Kent State’s Future
STEPS TO A FISCAL YEAR 2021 BALANCED BUDGET
Due to the unprecedented financial challenges brought about by COVID-19, Kent State University is pursuing measures to establish a balanced budget. As is our practice, we will continue to exercise prudent management to remain in good financial standing while providing a high-quality educational experience. To achieve a balanced budget, we must implement the following steps.
Current cost-savings measures will continue:
- The current hiring freeze will continue through Fiscal Year 2021.
- We will postpone new campus construction projects.
- University-sponsored travel is paused.
- We expect to limit or eliminate spending on discretionary items (office supplies, postage, printing, construction projects, professional and consulting services).
- No overtime should be authorized or worked.
- Funding for canceled events should be retained and unspent.
Reduce Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budgets by 20%
Reducing operating budgets by 20% will require difficult decisions with staffing and initiatives to ensure the continued delivery of our academic mission. Projects must be prioritized through a students-first lens. Seventy percent of the university’s budget is comprised of salaries and benefits. A balanced budget cannot be obtained without reducing these expenses. An effort to review current staff organizational structure and approaches to operations is underway, which will provide data to assist in making informed and holistic decisions regarding staffing structures and levels.
A salary adjustment model for employees not represented by AFSCME or AAUP will be implemented on July 1, 2020. The model is based on pay ranges and includes additional leave days that employees may use before taking vacation days.
- Fiscal Year 2021 staff salaries will be reduced from current (Fiscal Year 2020) salaries as follows. These reductions are temporary through Fiscal Year 2021, which ends June 30, 2021.
- President Todd Diacon—12.5%
- Cabinet, deans and those with salaries of $200,000 or greater – 10%
- $150,000 - $199,999 – 7%
- $100,000 - $149,999 – 5%
- $50,000 - $99,999 – 4%
- $38,000 - $49,999 – 2%
- Under $38,000 – No reduction
- Staff members whose salaries are being adjusted will be granted leave days that may be used in lieu of, or in addition to, vacation days to be taken during Fiscal Year 2021. Staff with salaries of $50,000 or more will receive 10 leave days for use during Fiscal Year 2021. Staff with salaries of $38,000 - $49,999 will receive 5 leave days for use during Fiscal Year 2021.
- At the end of Fiscal Year 2021, the salary adjustment model will be reviewed to determine if the program continues through Fiscal Year 2022.
Implementing a 20% budget cut will require layoffs and job abolishments. Supervisors will work closely with their campus, college or division lead to follow university policies and procedures governing such actions. University policies for unclassified and classified employees may be found in the University Policy Register. The number of layoffs and job abolishments will depend on the length and depth of the COVID-19 crisis, and on the number of current employees who are not represented by AFSCME or AAUP who participate in the following voluntary separation incentive program.
voluntary separation incentive program
The voluntary separation incentive program is for regular full-time staff and faculty who have three or more years of full-time service to Kent State as of June 30, 2020. The plan gives eligible staff and faculty the option of taking advantage of a separation package while providing the university with greater flexibility to respond to current budgetary challenges and priorities. Part-time, temporary and contracted employees, employees who have retired and were subsequently rehired, and those in grant-funded positions are not eligible for the plan.
Under the plan, the following separation incentives will be offered to eligible employees:
- Employees not represented by AAUP or AFSCME will receive three months of salary plus the lesser of three months of salary or $20,000, continuation of healthcare coverage for up to six months, retention of tuition waiver benefit for four years and payment of leave balances in accordance with university policy.
- Employees represented by AFSCME will receive two weeks of salary plus an additional six weeks of salary, continuation of healthcare coverage for up to six months, retention of tuition waiver benefit for four years and payment of leave balances in accordance with university policy.
- Faculty represented by the AAUP (tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure track) will receive three months of salary plus the lesser of three months of salary or $20,000, continuation of healthcare coverage for up to 12 months, retention of tuition waiver benefit for four years and payment of leave balances in accordance with university policy.
Employees qualifying and electing the plan will separate from service with Kent State on June 30, 2020.
Employees who are eligible for the voluntary separation incentive program will receive communication directly from the Division of Human Resources on May 11, 2020. The period for electing participation in the program will be May 11, 2020, through June 1, 2020.
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For questions regarding the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP), please visit our FAQ’s or you may contact the following: