A temporary furlough program will be enacted by West Virginia University for approximately 875 employees, the school announced in a press release on Friday.
The measure is a part of cost-saving efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The furloughs are set to begin on May 24. Employees will return to work on June 28 or July 26, depending on University needs.
“If we put them (employees) on furlough, and help them to make sure that they get their unemployment benefits, that will generate a great deal of cash for the University, which we can then use in the following year to meet our budgetary responsibilities,” WVU President E. Gordon Gee told the Daily Athenaeum on Friday.
“They will not lose money. The University will be able to generate a significant amount of cash, which will then help everyone — students, faculty, staff — over the next year. It’s a pretty clear strategy.“
According to the press release, the University expects to save approximately $4 million.
The release also states that benefits for impacted employees will continue during the period.
“We’re not always going to be able to protect people,” Gee said. “We’ve got 33 million people out of work right now. We’ve got large portions of our population who have been laid off and a variety of other things. The University is trying to be very cognizant of its faculty and staff.”