Kansas Athletics will implement across-the-board furloughs and salary reductions to make up for a budget shortfall of possibly up to 20% as a result of the new coronavirus, Athletic Director Jeff Long announced Wednesday in an email to supporters.
Athletics is anticipating a budget shortfall of 10%-20% due to lack of revenue, even if men’s basketball and football seasons start on time.
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes continues to be the driving force behind our decisions as we prepare for their eventual return to campus, hopefully sooner rather than later,” Long said.
All Athletics employees, including coaching staff, will be subject to furloughs and salary reductions for the next six months, saving $650,000, Long said.
These actions — combined with the salary reductions taken by Long, football coach Les Miles, and men’s basketball coach Bill Self announced on April 27 — will total $1.15 million in savings through December 31, according to the email.
The reductions will take effect July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.
“While these decisions are difficult, we prolonged enacting measures that impact our people as long as we could,” Long said. “But it has become clear that the across-the-board reductions were necessary for the short and long-term financial needs of this department.”
The salary reductions and furloughs will take effect in four tiers, based on salary:
Positions under $50,000: Each employee will be required to furlough for three weeks between June 1 and July 25.
Positions $50,000-149,000: Employees will have two options: 1) taking a percentage reduction in pay for six months from July to December (3.5% for salaries $50,000-99,000; 5.0% for $100,000-149,000); or 2) taking a furlough of up to 10 days between June 1 and July 25.
Positions $150,000-299,000: Employees will have two options: 1) taking a percentage reduction in pay for six months July to December (7.5% for salaries $150,000-199,000; 10.0% for $200,000-299,000); or 2) taking both a furlough of 10 days between June 1 and July 25, and then a smaller percentage reduction for five months from August to December.
Positions $300,000+: Each employee will take a 10% pay cut for six months from July-December.
The Big 12 announced May 23 that football student athletes would be allowed to return to campus on June 15. Kansas football is set to open the season on Sept. 5 at home against New Hampshire.
“These are not easy decisions,” Long said, “but the core principles and determination of our Athletics Department will see us through this pandemic and make us stronger together in the end.”