In a letter to the community and staff, the University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced today measures to cut costs as the University bleeds money due to the Coronavirus shutdown in Michigan.

In his letter, he wrote, “The pandemic also has threatened the financial stability and future strength of our university.”

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Right now with all the campuses closed, including Michigan Medicine, the anticipated losses are $400 million to $1 billion through the calendar year. The current situation has created uncertainties for virtually all revenue streams.

Credit: University of Michigan – President Mark S. Schlissel

With Michigan Medicine, they have experienced massive cuts in revenues in being unable to perform non-urgent medical procedures. As well as costs from the pandemic response at hospitals and clinics.

The University has called for drastic cost-cutting measures. Eliminating travel, conferences, and the use of consultants. There will be no salary increases, and a hiring freeze is in effect.

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UofM senior management is also taking a 10% pay cut as well. Including UofM President Schlissel, who was reported in 2018 of having a salary of $850,000.

The University of Michigan is rolling out two programs to curb costs which are voluntary to their staff upon approval of their departments. Mainly for staff in non-critical operations. Staff employees could choose to get unpaid furlough during the COVID-19 pandemic or temporarily reduce their work hours. This leave could range from 60 to 120 days. Employees would file for state unemployment compensation and possibly be eligible for federal unemployment as well. The university would still fund their healthcare programs, and affected staff wouldn’t have to contribute to their health plans.

Credit: The University of Michigan – A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building Vivarium Expansion

Additionally, all construction projects on campus have been postponed. This includes a $19 million Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research expansion and an $8.9 million alumni center expansion, to name just a few.

President Schlissel wrote plans are already in the works for a gradual return to normal activity based on “strong public health guidance”. He also said that financial aid funds should be increased. As the students and their families have experienced reductions as well.

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