What is UWM’s rationale behind its furlough policy and the pay cuts for the chancellor and the rest of the senior leadership team?

May 8, 2020

UWM has scheduled intermittent furlough days for employees over a 13-month period starting in June, with a sliding scale based on salary and whether an employee has a 12-month or nine-month appointment.

For instance, 12-month employees who make less than $100,000 will take nine intermittent furlough days, which amounts to just over a 3% pay cut. In addition to the June furlough day, Chancellor Mark Mone and Provost Johannes Britz are each taking 10% pay cuts for the 2020-21 academic year starting in July, while all vice chancellors are taking 6.16% pay cuts for the same period. This salary reduction is comprised of the eight intermittent furlough days required for all employees, plus an additional 3.08% pay cut that the chancellor and vice chancellors will take without any corresponding furlough days off, over the full fiscal year.

It is important to note that other universities have chosen different time frames to implement budget reduction measures. For instance, UW-Madison has announced campus-wide furloughs for a six-month period starting no earlier than May 15 and lasting through Oct. 31, 2020. Under that plan, an employee earning between $50,000 and $80,000 will take four furlough days during that period, which amounts to roughly a 3.1% reduction in compensation per month. UW-Madison’s senior leaders are taking a 15% reduction in pay during that timeframe, which is equivalent to a 10% cut for six months, plus six furlough days. The impact to those individuals’ annual salary is roughly half that amount if the pay reduction does not continue beyond the scheduled six months.

Please also note that under current UW System policy, UWM may not impose involuntary pay reductions outside of a furlough program. To impose greater reductions at this time, UWM would need to provide employees with even more time off. Scheduling intermittent furloughs over the entire year allows for advance planning and for workloads to be managed as reasonably as possible.

UWM continues to explore other ways to reduce expenses. The goal is to do as much as we can to stretch our current reserves so that the university can make it through the full duration of this crisis.