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MSU defers university projects, cuts staff salaries to save money from COVID-19 impacts

 Mixed feelings on Wednesday from MSU students about going back to campus this fall.  (Source: WILX)
Mixed feelings on Wednesday from MSU students about going back to campus this fall. (Source: WILX) (WILX)
Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 12:14 PM EDT
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Michigan State University announced it will be deferring projects and cutting pay in an attempt to save money following impacts from COVID-19.

MSU President Samuel Stanley said the university continues to estimate a nearly $300 million loss for the next fiscal year, but says "the budget situation continues to change.

Stanely said the university will be deferring previously scheduled capital projects in order to preserve resources, which will allow the university to save nearly $77 million. A list of the projects that will be paused, deferred or reconsidered for a future date can be found

In addition, President Stanley said each unit on campus is being asked to make a minimum 3% budget reduction, which is expected to save the university $20 million.

All MSU executive managers and deans are also taking a 2% to 8% temporary pay cut based on salary levels; President Stanley said he is taking a 10% pay cut. Stanley said those cuts were made for the fiscal year 2020 budget, but will now extend into the fiscal year 2021 budget.

Back in May, Stanley said some university departments began furloughing some staff members.

"At this time, 716 employees have been furloughed, including 280 that were voluntary. We continue to look for ways to partner with our unions to address this challenge," Stanley said in his letter.

President Stanley said the university has also taken steps to put a wage reduction for non-union faculty and academic staff members into place. He said in order to address the budget deficit, the university needs an average of 2.3% salary reduction from this group.

"Upon consultation with academic governance, the University Committee for Faculty Affairs, the Academic Specialist Advisory Committee and the Council of Deans, it was suggested we work to avoid academic layoffs as well as protect those at the lower end of the compensation scale.

In order to do that, Stanley said the university will implement a temporary wage reduction using a graduated scale ranging from 0.5% for those with the lowers salaries to 7% for those with the highest salaries.

President Stanley said there will also be reductions in retirement plan contributions. Effective July 1, MSU will reduce its matching contributions from 10% to 5% for employees' compensation. Stanley said at this time, the reduction will only apply to executive management, non-unionized faculty and academic staff.

"I know this continues to be a very challenging time. Please know that I remain proud of our employees, their collective spirit and dedication to our university," President Stanley said. "It is our hope that most of these burdens will be temporary and the principle that such burdens are borne together by us will preserve the excellence of Michigan State for a world that needs the best we can give, now more than ever."

MSU is planning to bring students back in the fall following the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, click

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