Employee Furlough and Pay Reduction Programs Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021

Reminders

  • The University’s match to individual employee retirement contributions will be suspended, effective June 1, 2020, until June 30, 2021. This will not impact our retirees who are currently receiving their retirement benefits.
  • The University is implementing a 20-percent reduction in operating expenses, university-wide (non-fixed and non-salary), effective July 1, for the coming year.
  • The senior leadership team will continue the difficult process of decreasing our personnel expenses further. In some cases, this will be achieved through attrition, and in other cases, it may require the elimination of positions.
  • Salaries of faculty and staff will be reduced on a sliding scale from 1-10 percent. (see charts below)
  • The Jacksonville University medical plan has been updated to waive the out-of-pocket costs for any eligible expense related to COVID-19. This change covers any deductibles or co-pays incurred by our employees or their covered dependents.
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free services to employees and their dependents, remains available.
  • If your household is impacted by changing job situations such as a spouse or domestic partner losing employment, you can file for an eligible benefit change using the Employee Navigator system. You have a 30-day window to enroll a dependent in your benefit plan in the event of a covered lifestyle event.
  • If you are currently enrolled in the Dependent Child Care Benefit under the Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you are now allowed by the circumstances to discontinue those contributions. You can reactivate contributions once your child’s daycare facility has reopened.

Information for Faculty

Salary Reductions

Salary Range Reduction
$45,500 – $50,000 1%
$50,001 – $65,000 2%
$65,001 – $85,000 3%
$85,001 – $100,000 5%
$100,001 – $150,000 6%
More than $150,000 10%

Information for Staff

Furloughs

With the exception of employees identified for an extended (2-3 month) furlough, the University will furlough all staff and administrative employees earning less than $45,500 per year. The length of the furlough should be 10 business days (2 weeks) between May and June 2020 as well as 10 business days (2 weeks) in July 2020. Department Heads will stagger the furloughs appropriately to mitigate the impact to services and operations.

Salary Reductions

Salary Range Reduction
$45,500 – $50,000 1%
$50,001 – $75,000 2%
$75,001 – $99,999 3%
$100,000 – $160,000 5%
More than $160,000 6%
Senior Cabinet 10%

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ: Financial Measures

Our retirement plan offers a supplemental plan in addition to the matching plan where employees can place additional dollars for retirement. This supplemental plan is a great resource for those individuals who would like to make up for any portion of the employer match. Contact your Human Resources Generalist to set up this option if you do not have this in place.

The suspension of the employer match is for the period of June 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

Some staff positions were eliminated earlier this spring, while other open positions were not filled. The senior leadership team will continue the difficult process of decreasing our personnel expenses further. In some cases, this will be achieved through attrition, and in other cases, it may require the elimination of positions.

About Faculty Employment

Contracts will not be re-issued. You will receive a letter from the Office of Human Resources as documentation of your salary adjustment.

All full-time faculty may teach one overload each fall and spring term as needed. They can also teach classes in the summer as needed.

We will continue to need adjuncts to cover many of our classes. Just as overload rates for full-time faculty have been lowered, the adjunct pay rates per credit hour have also been lowered.

These measures do not affect the tenure process. Tenure is based on faculty members’ achievements in teaching, scholarship and service.

We are asking units to review their programs and evaluate the balance of revenue generated with resources required. Our goal is to ensure we are using all of our resources as efficiently as possible and investing wisely. We also ask that units carefully assess their course rotations to determine whether certain courses could be offered less often, allowing us to reduce overload and adjunct pay in the process.

About the Furlough Period at Jacksonville University

We developed these frequently asked questions to assist our furloughed employees.

You will continue to have access to email, work drives and all computer systems.

You are fully eligible to continue with classes for both yourself and any enrolled dependent.

The University retirement plan does allow for loans and hardship withdrawals. In addition, part of the CARE Act provides special provisions during this time to make access to these funds easier. If you are a TIAA participant please call 1-800-842-2252 or for AIG Retirement Services (VALIC) contact 1-800- 448-2542.

The University will not only continue your benefits but will also cover the employee contributions to those insurance benefit premiums. The insurance benefits being continued include life insurance, medical, dental, short-term disability, long-term disability, and vision.

Retirement plan contributions are pre-taxed and based upon salary paid. As a furlough is a period of no pay, retirement contributions cannot be continued. If you are a participant in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), those pre-tax contributions do not continue during a period of no pay.

We will be automatically rolling over unused time from this FY 19-20 to FY 20-21. This means that unused vacation time can be used during all of FY 20-21.

As a furlough is a leave of absence with no pay, vacation time cannot be used during this period.

Due to the upcoming furlough periods that will impact employees who use our time entry system, effective immediately all employees will be responsible for entering their own time, starting with this current pay period (04/23-05/08) going forward. This will help payroll accurately capture as much time worked as possible, before the furlough period begins. Time entry approvers/supervisors will also be responsible for approving time during the pay periods as well. If you have not been using time entry since working from home during campus closure, you must begin effective 4/23 or you will not be paid for your days worked. During dates of furlough, no time entry is required. To keep accurate record of your time and the pay periods over the next few months please see attached SM payroll schedule, which includes cutoffs for employees, and supervisors for approvals.

Please forward all questions and inquiries to payroll@ju.edu and we will assist you.

Thank you for contacting me. I am out of the office until [Day, Date]. I will reply to this message when I return. If you need a more immediate response, please contact [Firstname Lastname] at [TheirEmail@ju.edu].

About Reemployment Assistance

These links may also offer helpful information:

The State of Florida refers to unemployment compensation as reemployment assistance. You may apply for benefits at floridajobs.org. The state will require you to submit a copy of your furlough letter from Jacksonville University and other documentation, including your social security number and driver’s license. The Reemployment Assistance Service Center identifies documentation requirements on its FAQ page. If you request direct deposit for your unemployment benefits, you also will need your bank routing and account numbers. Also, be sure to write down the personal identification number (PIN) you receive during the application process.

You should apply the week you are first furloughed.

No, the waiting period is waived during the pandemic. This could change, so please check the State of Florida Unemployment website for updates.

Yes. You must open your initial claim during the first week you are unemployed. After that, you must file claims at the end of each week you are furloughed.

You will need to open your initial claim first and then file for each week you are not working.

The weekly benefit from the State of Florida is a maximum of $275. The Federal government is providing an additional $600 per week under the stimulus program. It is our understanding that currently the State of Florida benefits will be made via direct deposit and the Federal stimulus payment will be a separate check.

The work search requirement is currently waived so there is no need for you to submit that information to draw benefits.

The University will continue your medical, dental, vision, life insurance and short/long term disability coverages. The University also will cover the premium amounts that normally come out of your check during your furlough. Your retirement contributions will stop during this time since this is an unpaid leave of absence.

You will continue to accumulate both vacation and sick leave while on furlough. Because a furlough is considered an unpaid leave of absence, you cannot draw on your vacation time while on furlough. However, we are modifying our policy to automatically carry over unused leave time, and it can be used throughout the 2021 fiscal year.

Please note: This document was developed to assist in answering the most frequently asked questions. The State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity determines the policy, process and provision of any benefits provided. 

Message Archive

Dear Jacksonville University faculty and staff,

Greetings, I hope you and your families are safe and well. In this remarkable COVID-19 era, many have commented that the days and weeks are running together, here’s wishing some of that time is refreshing for you.

This challenging moment offers us a rare opportunity to innovate and improve if we stay positive and focused on our mission. You have cared for and supported one another, the close connections have been encouraging. You have reached out to my family and me frequently during these times of distancing and the passing of special loved ones, and we deeply appreciate your compassion and empathy.

Today, I’m writing to share an update on Jacksonville University, our financial health and our outlook, and the important steps we’re taking to continue to deliver on our academic mission at the highest levels of quality, service and engagement. It’s becoming clear that our determination will be tested; success will require sacrifices from us all. I thank you in advance for your partnership in helping sustain this University for the good of so many.

As we chart our path forward, let me emphasize two points. First, we are on a journey. There is no “like the old days” for modern private, liberal arts and sciences universities. COVID-19 is a profound and sudden shock, but our journey was already underway and must continue for us to be more responsive, more student-centered, more service-focused, and firmly committed to our core academic mission. We celebrate our history and legacy, but adapting creatively to an evolving new reality is at a premium. Second, and this may seem a paradox but is real: we will both reduce and eliminate, at the very same time we invest and grow. Closing our Division I football program coincided with opening our exciting Health Sciences Complex and student health center, and both make sense. Reducing staffing and spending now in the Office of the President is occurring at the same time we add valuable talent in institutional research, strategic planning, academic advising, academic technology, and the Registrar’s Office – and that fits our needs. We must continue to nourish our future academic ambitions, while being firm in what we must reduce.

We operate on the belief that Jacksonville University offers a compelling collegiate experience anchored in our close-knit community and enhanced by our culture of personal mentorship, quality education, and experiential learning. Every decision we make is designed to enhance that culture of humanity.

Since March, we’ve been navigating this COVID-19 crisis together. Like many high-quality private U.S. universities, to keep everyone safe, we quickly adapted our operations, canceled events, shifted to work-from-home, closed facilities and moved entirely to distance learning. It was inspiring to see our campus collectively pivot, quickly, to this new environment and create new ways to connect, teach, and impact. I have never been more proud to be working alongside all of you.

This is my commitment: we will be fully prepared to welcome our students back to campus this Fall. We are 80 days into this unexpected new world, and we are planning to have students join, and re-join, us 80 days from now. We are focused on safely returning in the Fall for on-campus, in-person instruction. Our best leaders and experienced outside experts are working together to finalize strategy for bringing students back and teaching them here on our campus safely, while engaging our faculty and staff in a consistently healthy environment. The team is completing a detailed execution blueprint to reopen our campus safely, and we will be sharing the specifics of this plan in the coming days.

However, the realities of a global pandemic and worldwide recession have combined to dampen our revenues and increase our expenses in many areas, creating a nearly $4 million deficit in our current fiscal year concluding June 30, 2020. To address that and anticipate the deteriorating national landscape for higher education, we announced in April some hard choices: we reduced the salaries of many staff members by 1-10 percent; placed many staff members on temporary furlough; immediately reduced my salary by 50 percent through fiscal 2021; and in some departments, eliminated positions and canceled open postings. We also froze all non-essential University spending, hiring and travel. These were tough but necessary measures.

Thanks to your hard work and diligence, we have now addressed the deficit for this fiscal year, and for that you have my gratitude. Now we are confronting the Fall and our task to manage fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), which presents all universities greater uncertainty and a more daunting and shifting set of challenges.

Our highest priority remains enabling every member of our campus community to be confident in their own health and safety. That drives our thinking. We are mapping out our plan for testing, tracing, spacing, cleaning, and – if necessary – treating. We remain dedicated to providing an exceptional academic experience for our students, though it will likely have to be different, more hybrid and flexible. In the current climate, we know students will face considerable financial and wellness obstacles and will weigh difficult decisions regarding whether to continue (or even to begin) their college education with us. Our goal is to swiftly and smartly remove those barriers and help them live here, learn here, and earn their degrees here.

We anticipate substantial, ongoing financial challenges through the summer of 2021. Nearly all of our peer universities are anticipating a decrease in enrollment, and we forecast a version of the same. Our strategy to attract capable, dedicated undergrads from around the world (especially Florida) who can excel and graduate has been increasingly well executed over the years, and now presents us some risk. Nationally, the revised expectation of 15 percent lower first-year undergraduate enrollment from our original projections is realistic to apply to our outlook. Our traditional reliance on tuition, room and board is being taken fully into account.

Now, we are facing a potential deficit of well more than $10 million in the coming fiscal year, depending on certain key assumptions, as revenue-generating clinics, partnerships, auxiliary businesses, facilities and events have remained closed (for safety reasons) or delayed. At this same time, the unpredictability of these times is causing increases in expenses such as insurance, training, technology support, and necessary classroom upgrades, to name a few.

To address our near-term needs and better position us to support students this Fall, following the spirit of our bylaws, Provost Sapienza joined Dr. Mary Gipson, Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, to form a Summer Council of faculty leaders to consult and advise on steps to reduce expenses while maintaining our academic core principles. I have formally accepted all recommendations from our Provost to address our academic operating expenses. I thank the faculty for their resourcefulness bringing forward thoughtful ideas on how we will tackle this broad and deep financial challenge this year.

To place us more firmly on reliable footing, I am also announcing the following measures:

  • The University’s match to individual employee retirement contributions will be suspended, effective June 1, 2020, until June 30, 2021. This will impact approximately 400 of our 700 University colleagues, though this will not impact our retirees who are currently receiving their retirement benefits.
  • Similar to measures implemented across our entire staff last month, salaries of our faculty will be reduced on a sliding scale from 1-10 percent, effective July 1, 2020, until June 30, 2021. At more modest pay levels, this will represent the equivalent of a 1-2 week furlough, and for the 15 percent of our faculty at the highest levels, it will represent closer to a 3-5 week furlough.
  • We are implementing a 20-percent reduction in operating expenses, university-wide (non-fixed and non-salary), effective July 1, for the coming year.
  • The senior leadership team will continue the difficult process of decreasing our personnel expenses further. In some cases, this will be achieved through attrition, and in other cases, it may require the elimination of positions. We are being painstakingly conscientious in this portion of our work.

There is additional information about each of these measures on our Human Resources web page, along with answers to many of your likely questions. We will continue to communicate with you regularly through virtual town halls, social media, in written updates such as this, via video, and on email and updated web postings. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your direct supervisor.

While we will continue to teach well and look for opportunities to reduce costs and enhance revenue, we do not anticipate wholesale program closures at this time, as has occurred at so many other universities, nor has that been recommended by any of our councils, working groups or the Provost. Nor do we plan to reduce or eliminate the $8,000 average per-person healthcare subsidy the University provides to faculty and staff. Know that the Cabinet continues to assess this developing situation from every angle, weighing the full impact of these decisions on each of us. This is a universally uncertain time, and these decisions are never taken lightly. We will continue to closely monitor our financial health, implementing more measures if needed or reducing them if our outlook improves.

Like you, I am dedicated to helping our University come through this as a stronger institution. It won’t be easy or straightforward, and our collective commitment will help us succeed during this challenge. Though we have a difficult road ahead, we have the resilience and determination to succeed in building and maintaining a premier university.

Thank you for your goodwill, positive attitude and continued commitment to our University throughout this extraordinary time.

Dear Jacksonville University staff --

The University’s senior leadership team continues its strategic review of University operations and is moving swiftly to reduce costs. Because of stay-at-home and social distancing directives associated with the COVID-19, we are seeing a significant change in the University’s financial profile. Revenue-generating events, facilities and services are closed, and countless strategic financial opportunities are on hold in the current environment. At the same time, costs continue rising.

As the President discussed in the video above, we are acting quickly to address a $3 million deficit this current fiscal year and unknown financial challenges next fall. This means making very difficult decisions that impact every staff member, as well as the President and senior cabinet.

This week, supervisors and Senior Vice Presidents notified their teams about how these decisions impact them. Beginning May 1, many University staff members will be required to take a period of unpaid leave, or furlough days. Other staff members will have their salary reduced by a percentage. In both cases, University benefits such as medical, dental and life insurance coverage will continue.

These measures, when combined with spending freezes announced last week, will help strengthen the financial stability of the University in the months ahead. Please know that, if necessary, our senior leadership team may implement more serious measures as the University navigates the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help answer some of your questions about how these decisions impact you, the Human Resources Department has developed a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, which is attached to this message. We also want to share the following information:

  • Our medical plan has been updated to waive the out-of-pocket costs for any eligible expense related to COVID-19. This change covers any deductibles or co-pays incurred by our employees or their covered dependents.
  • Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free services to employees and dependent, remains available.
  • If your household is impacted by changing job situations such as a spouse or domestic partner losing employment, you can file for an eligible benefit change using the Employee Navigator system. You have a 30-day window to enroll a dependent in your benefit plan in the event of a covered lifestyle event.
  • If you are currently enrolled in the Dependent Child Care Benefit under the Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you are now allowed by the circumstances to discontinue those contributions. You can reactivate contributions once your child’s daycare facility has reopened.

HR staff are assigned to serve various departments across campus. We encourage you to contact your respective Human Resource Generalist for any request. We look forward to serving you.

We have experienced professionals standing by to help you through these difficult times. Please feel free to reach out to us at hr@ju.edu.

James V. Williams
Director of Human Resources