Northern Arizona University will be implementing salary cuts and furloughs to faculty members, according to an email shared with The Arizona Republic.
In a message to university faculty Friday, NAU President Rita Hartung Cheng said salary reductions are on the horizon for senior administration members, as well as “some combination of university-wide tiered pay cuts and/or furloughs across other levels of the organization,” the email read.
According to Cheng, the university still expects to maintain its 19:1 student-to-faculty ration during the 2021 fiscal year, despite the furloughs and hiring freeze that, as of Friday, resulted in more than 280 open positions at NAU that are not expected to be filled.
Still, Cheng conceded the unknown number of students who will be enrolled in the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic and said the university is expecting up to a 20% decrease from the norm.
Because of this, NAU is projecting “significant” reductions to non-tenure track contracts. As a subsequent measure, the university expects to issue new contracts to approximately 95 percent of instructional staff, according to the email.
“The sheer volume of unknown enrollment numbers, and the corresponding impacts to revenue, require flexibility,” Cheng said.
A spokesperson for the university did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Republic on Saturday.
Cheng added she and her executive team will also be taking 10% pay cuts beginning in July and lasting through the 2021 fiscal year.
Previously, Cheng wrote that NAU “will be financially stretched as we move into the next academic year,” estimating a financial hit of between $30 million and $100 million, depending on enrollment and the status of campus events. No layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts were mentioned at that time.
The University of Arizona announced similar measures back in April, when the university announced that the majority of its 15,000 employees would be affected by furloughs or pay cuts.
UA also halted building projects and other plans in cost-saving initiatives, which NAU is also planning to do in the form of limited voluntary retirement programs, a review into debt refinancing, among other things.
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