Kent State Board of Trustees Approves Measures to Ensure University’s Financial Future

The Kent State University Board of Trustees approved three important budgetary measures to counter expected revenue reductions due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during a special Board meeting held May 6.

Board members approved a salary adjustment model for employees not represented by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) or the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for Fiscal Year 2021. Kent State President Todd Diacon is taking a 12.5% reduction in salary. Cabinet, deans and those with salaries of $200,000 or greater will see a 10% salary adjustment, while employees earning $150,000-$199,999 will have a 7% salary adjustment. Those earning $100,000-$149,999 will have a 5% adjustment, and employees earning $50,000-$99,999 will receive a 4% salary adjustment. Those earning $38,000-$49,999 will have their pay adjusted by 2%, and employees earning under $38,000 will have 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, and those with salaries of $38,000-$49,999 will receive five leave days.

At the end of Fiscal Year 2021, the salary adjustment model will be reviewed to determine if the program continues through Fiscal Year 2022.

Board Approves Modifications, Extensions of Contracts With Faculty Represented by AAUP-KSU

Board members approved a modification of Kent State’s Collective Bargaining Agreements with both the Full-Time Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Bargaining Unit and the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Bargaining Unit of the Kent State Chapter of AAUP that will help the university counter the expected budgetary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The modified agreements include extending the agreements by one year and deferring raises for the upcoming year. This deferral of salary increases will save the university about $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2021. 

The two AAUP faculty unions have agreed to these modifications to the Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Board Approves University Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

Projected to result in significant cost savings overall, the Board also approved the voluntary separation incentive program 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 would 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. The period for electing participation in the program will be May 11 through June 1.

For more information about the university’s cost-cutting measures, visit www.kent.edu/ensuring-kent-state-future.

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Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield, emansfie@kent.edu, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 1:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 4:33pm
WRITTEN BY:
University Communications and Marketing