The University of Kansas will not extend the salary reduction plan put in place for the fall semester beyond its previously announced timeframe, Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer said Tuesday in a message to campus.
In June, KU announced employees who earn more than $50,000 annually will see a reduction in salary to help ease the effects of the budget deficit the university faces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The salary reduction plan is set to end either Dec. 26 for faculty paid on an academic year basis or Feb. 20 for fiscal year employees.
KU leaders could be forced to extend the plan into the spring semester if the university’s state funding is cut further, but Girod and Bichelmeyer said they don’t expect that to happen at this time.
Additionally, KU will close both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2. Campus employees will be given weeklong paid leave during that time, according to the announcement.
For departments that are considered essential to campus security or systems, a smaller number of employees will be given paid leave from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, according to the announcement.
Girod and Bichelmeyer thanked faculty and staff for their hard work during the fall semester and said the paid leave would provide employees time to reset for the spring semester.
“In appreciation of your extraordinary efforts and to provide you time to focus on your wellbeing and reset for the spring term, we will close the Lawrence and Edwards campuses Dec. 27 through Jan. 2 and offer paid leave to those campuses’ employees,” they said in the announcement.
Employees will not have to use accrued leave to access the paid leave opportunity, according to the announcement.
“The paid leave is for you to re-energize, connect with family and friends, and focus on your own mental and physical health,” they said.