CSU faces 14% budget reductions in the wake of COVID-19

Photo courtesy of CSU.

Photo courtesy of CSU.

On May 7, President Markwood issued a message announcing a plan to reduce budgets by 14%. This plan was approved by the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia as a response to the changes in state revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. State revenue fell $1 billion, or 35.9%, this April compared to last year.


According to a statement released the same day, this plan requires faculty and staff at all 26 USG institutions “to take a minimum number of days of unpaid time off depending on their salary range, with the exception of those with the lowest base salaries.” 


Depending on the employee’s salary, this would generally mean either 4 or 8 furlough days for most. However, those with the highest salaries will be required to take 16 furlough days, “or the equivalent of a 6.2% pay reduction.” 


CSU’s update page for May 7 includes a chart for employees to determine what their furlough days would likely be according to their salary. 


Additionally, the Chancellor and Presidents at each USG institution will take “the equivalent of a 10% pay reduction which includes 26 furlough days for fiscal year 2021.”


President Markwood issued a second announcement concerning the reductions on May 12. “I am well aware and understand the concern and anxiety that our campus community must be feeling regarding the recent budget reduction announcement. We are not alone in this current economic environment, as all our sister institutions are being asked to adjust as well. With your input, our leadership will make the required budget adjustments, while attempting to minimize the negative impact on our students, staff and faculty.  We will not lose sight that we must continue to provide the highest quality education possible at CSU. Our students deserve nothing less!”


The Fiscal Year 2021 will mark the beginning of these restrictions and will go into effect July 1. A budget appropriation must be approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor before any plans are made final. 


Further reductions may be necessary as a result of enrollment and tuition changes, President Markwood warned in a May 19 announcement. 


“We will also be prepared to use the significant portion of our budget that we will have remaining to make CSU better,” President Markwood said in this update. “It will be challenging, but we will adapt, innovate, and find creative ways to educate our students.”