University plans temporary pay reductions for some employees to help meet budget challenges caused by pandemic

In an e-mail message this afternoon, Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert told employees he is preparing to submit a budget reduction proposal to the university’s Board of Governors, including temporary salary cuts for some employees.

Gilbert said the cost-cutting measures are necessary to balance the institution’s fiscal year 2021 budget in the face of projected enrollment declines for the fall semester due to COVID-19.

If the board approves the proposal, the university will implement Part 1 of the temporary salary reductions, which is for employees making $100,000 or more annually. The reductions will be effective with the pay period that starts July 4, and employees who make more will have higher percentage reductions.

Examples from the salary reduction scale include the following:  6% reduction at $107,900; 7% reduction at $133,800; 8% reduction at $175,400; 9% reduction at $215,400; and 10% reduction at $262,400. The maximum reduction will be 15% at $470,000.

Gilbert said that after classes begin in August, administrators will know what to expect from tuition revenue and can determine whether or not additional salary reductions are necessary. If so, the university will implement Part 2 of the temporary salary reductions on Aug. 29 for employees whose annual salaries are in the range of $50,000 to $100,000.

Some example data points on the Part 2 salary reduction scale are: 1% reduction at $54,800; 2% reduction at $60,750; 3% reduction at $68,450; 4% reduction at $77,775; and 5% reduction at $90,000.

Gilbert emphasized that employees with salaries below $50,000 will not experience any salary reductions.

“Let me assure you it is our intent for the temporary salary reductions … to last no longer than one year,” he continued. “It is possible salaries could be restored to their full levels at any time during the fiscal year, depending on university revenues. Vice President Mark Robinson and I will be closely monitoring our financial status to be prepared to take restorative action as soon as appropriate.”

In addition to the temporary salary reductions, the proposal to the board will include freezing vacant positions and State-funded travel; cutting back on campus events; reducing the number of graduate assistants and student workers; reducing operating, maintenance and utility budgets; and reducing the number of course sections to cut instructional expenses. In addition, the university will save $1 million a year due to strategic refinancing of university bonds in April.

Read the president’s entire message at