President Shepard to Make Recommendation to Trustees on ‘Furlough Bill’
Western President Bruce Shepard announced today that he will recommend to Western’s Board of Trustees on Friday that they approve an option on the state’s “furlough bill” that will not require university employees to take furlough days or for the university to be closed.
“After thorough review and many discussions on campus, it became clear to us that employee furloughs or campus closure would create far more problems than any savings realized,” Shepard said.
Shepard noted that in discussions with the President’s Cabinet and with leaders of other faculty governance groups and unions, the feedback received indicated strongly that employee furloughs or closure of the campus presented many difficulties, particularly in creating inequities among university employees.
The president will recommend to the trustees Option B of the university’s draft plan submitted to the state earlier this month (see Report to OFM: Option B) that outlines Western’s draft response to the one-time $1.172-million reduction mandated by the legislature in the “furlough bill.” Western’s draft plan involves savings associated with a decision by the faculty union two years ago to forgo contractually agreed-upon merit raises for two years in order to provide more class sections for students; further campus-wide budgeted reductions; and potential savings from requests by some staff for voluntary reductions in their full-time positions. The furlough bill, in order to avoid disruptions on campuses, provides universities with flexibility in making the one-time cut, rather than requiring furlough days of employees.
The meetings of the Western Board of Trustees are audiocast live. To listen to the audiocast of the trustees’ meetings on Thurday and Friday, click here.