U of M president proposes unpaid furloughs to cut costsby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — The president of the University of Minnesota is proposing three days of mandatory unpaid furlough for all university employees.
Robert Bruininks told a meeting of the university's faculty senate Thursday that the furlough plan would save the university $12 million.
The plan would require employees to take unpaid leave before the end of 2010. Members of the executive administration would take six unpaid days. All employees would have the option to take as many as 10 days of furlough.
"We looked at a wide range of furlough days and tried to model their impacts but we think this is the right level," Bruininks said. "We decided too that we if we did this creatively, and we announced it early enough, they could be scheduled during the holiday period."
University officials say the furloughs will be one cost saving measure as the schools chips away at a $130-million budget shortfall.
Faculty member Eva von Dassow told Bruininks that instead of budget cuts and furloughs, the school should reduce the salaries of its highest paid executive staff, and forgo a planned 2 percent raise for all employees.
"That wouldn't make it necessary either to raise tuition, or to close needed programs, or to cut more faculty positions, or to cut curriculum and courses that students need and that they were promised," von Dassow said.
The faculty senate will vote on the furlough plan at a meeting later this month.