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Kent State Trustees Approve Pay Cuts, Buyout Offers to Close Budget Gap

photo of Kent State
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
Many Kent State employees will see their pay reduced under a cost cutting plan approved by the university's Board of Trustees.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Kent State University Board of Trustees has approved several cost-saving measures to try to close a growing budget deficit.

The university aims to reduce its operating budget by 20% in fiscal year 2021, which starts July 1.

During the KSU Board of Trustees video conference, Kent State President Todd Diacon said it will likely mean staff reductions.

"The number of layoffs and job abolishments will depend in part on the length and depth of the pandemic and its impact on our institution. And it will also depend on the number of staff who accept the separation incentive."

That separation incentive, or voluntary buyout, will be offered to full time employees with at least three years at the university. Eligible employees will be notified May 11. They will have to decide whether to accept the offer by June 1. 

The following separation incentives are being offered:

  • 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.

The last day for those who accept the offer will be June 30, 2020. 
Non-union Kent State employees making more than $38,000 will take pay cuts. President Diacon is taking the largest salary reduction of 12.5%.  Cuts are being implemented based on salaries: 

  • $200,000 and up receive a 10% cut
  • $150,000-$199,999 receive a 7% cut
  • $100,000-$149,999 receive a 5% cut
  • $50,000-$99,999 receive a 4% cut
  • $38,000-$49,999 receive a 2% cut 

Employees earning under $38,000 will have no reduction.
The union representing professors has agreed to forgo annual raises for the next fiscal year. They've also agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement for one year.