Eastern Kentucky University has identified approximately 60 positions for short-term furloughs to help offset the $7 million shortfall the university now faces because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an email from EKU Interim President David McFaddin on Monday, April 27.
Loss of revenue from housing, dining and other areas including a decline in enrollment account for the shortfall. The university plans to, “fully utilize federal CARES stimulus dollars earmarked for institutional expenses and position vacancies to offset a portion of the cost to the university,” according to McFaddin’s email.
Those employees being furloughed, “will be eligible for enhanced unemployment benefits and will have the option to maintain their health insurance and ongoing tuition benefits during the furlough,” according to McFaddin’s email.
Employees affected are set to receive notifications on April 27.
The university has not suffered a loss of life as a result of the pandemic as of publication. The following are the steps the university has taken to help protect students from exposure at EKU, according to McFaddin’s email:
Extending Spring Break to prepare course work for remote instruction
Moving to a 100 percent remote instruction model
Closing the EKU campus to the general public
Restricting on-campus housing to only those students with a demonstrated and expressed need
Encouraging work from home for employees who can complete their duties remotely
Practicing social distancing and hygiene measures on campus
Increasing the level of cleaning and sanitation practices
Forming COVID-19 workgroups to address specific area concerns and raise awareness
Beginning May 11 through August 7, the university will operate on a four-day workweek to try to save money.
“We will take the necessary steps to ensure EKU fulfills its financial obligations and remains true to its mission of providing an outstanding education to Kentuckians and anyone seeking to find their next great opportunity,” according to McFaddin’s email.