Monday, April 6, 2020 1:17 p.m.

Kent State University’s Prudent Financial Management During the COVID-19 Crisis

Dear Kent State Faculty and Staff,

During this difficult time, Kent State is continuing its promise of prudent financial management by adhering to policies that were implemented prior to the crisis.

Hiring Freeze

The hiring freeze implemented in September 2019 will continue.

  • The freeze supports the university’s effort in managing its budget to ensure financial sustainability and viability.
  • No changes to the process are envisioned – we appreciate our colleagues’ commitment and discipline.
  • Please continue to reflect on ways to gain effectiveness and efficiency by utilizing faculty and staff departures to realign and reorganize work responsibilities.
  • Use this period to provide opportunities to enhance the roles of our valued employees through short-term assignments, interim duties and professional development.

We are grateful to the university leadership – deans, vice presidents, chairs, directors, managers – and the strategic hiring committee for their dedicated efforts.

Financial Management

During this challenging time resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to put our community first.

  • We are responding proactively in a students-first manner by awarding refunds for room, dining and parking fees.
  • We are ensuring that student employees continue to be paid while completing meaningful work remotely.
  • We are providing innovative ways to sustain the work of the university by offering telework and limited on-campus services while sustaining employee wages and benefits.

Our commitment to these priorities, coupled with a material decline in the financial market, continue to exert significant pressure on the university's cash and financial position. To continue these institutional priorities, it is imperative that we exercise fiscal restraint to limit expenditures and retain unspent resources.

Next Steps

We are continuing to implement large-scale cost savings measures, such as reduced utilities expenses due to scaled-down on-campus operations, reviewing current and planned construction projects and canceling or postponing university events.

At the college/departmental level, we are asking for your leadership and support. Until further notice:

  • No booking of university sponsored travel.
  • Limit or eliminate spending on discretionary items (office supplies, postage, printing, capital projects, professional and consulting services).
  • Postpone contractual commitments, requisitions and purchase orders, and where appropriate, seek future reduction/modification of existing commitments.
  • No overtime should be authorized or worked.
  • Funding for canceled events should be retained and unspent.

We are in this together, and we will get through this together. We are grateful for your commitment to our students, community and financial viability.

Please stay safe and healthy,

Mark M. Polatajko, Ph.D., CPA
Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration