Curators approve furlough, retirement plan

Friday, February 6, 2009 | 5:06 p.m. CST

The UM Board of Curators on Friday gave President Gary Forsee the authority to impose emergency furloughs.

The board also authorized a proposal to require benefit-eligible employees to pay into their retirement plans.

Additionally, the board approved a transition assistance program for employees who lose their jobs as a result of budget cuts.

The board voted unanimously to give Forsee authority to implement furloughs if he deemed them necessary. The authority ends June 30, and Forsee must consult the board before taking any action.

The president said only a reduction in state appropriations during the current fiscal year would prompt such a move. He said it would not be imposed unilaterally.

“It wouldn’t be something that would necessarily be applied at the system level,” Forsee said.

In a news conference after the meeting, he was questioned about concerns that faculty were not given enough warning about the changes.

“In a perfect world, all 26,950 of our associates would have a personal conversation with me, and that’s not going to take place,” Forsee said. “That’s not practical, and we rely and I trust the governance processes to work. “

He said he met with faculty leaders on the campuses earlier this week to discuss his proposals.

Forsee said the measures are intended to manage anticipated consequences of the economic downturn.

“Some 18 months ago, we certainly saw the worst recession in 80 years starting to unfold in our country. At the same time, we know that all of those impacts are just now starting to work their way toward us.”

“The question is, how will times change with a new administration, and will that administration move in different directions, and how will we respond and match up to that as we go forward? “

Forsee said it was a time for university leaders to provide ongoing dialogue with their constituents.

“Uncertainty affects everyone," he said.  "The ability to hear directly from individuals who most impact your role, in my experience, is the best measure to assure that morale in context can stay strong during these periods of time."



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marvin saunders February 7, 2009 | 4:02 a.m.

I hate to see anyone lose their job but the university has alot of useless jobs.Too many people doing a one man job just like the state and city of columbia.Plus way too many chiefs.All he needs to do is walk around campus,go into the buildings and see the way the employees and faculty waste time and money.Its that simple.You dont have to hire a million dollar firm,You walk around and see it first hand,than you can make a honest judgement.I promise you won't have to walk far to see the waste of money..

(Report Comment)
Lorie Thunhorst February 7, 2009 | 7:55 a.m.

However, it will be the people that are lower paid and do the work that will get laid off or placed on furlough. How can they furlough faculty when they are under contract? Administration think they are way to important to be off without pay and they are salaried anyhow. So who does that leave to be placed on furlough? The hourly people only. If you get laid off they have to pay out our vacation time and after two weeks you can sign up for unemployment. will not get your vacation time paid out but you will be able to still apply for unemployment after two weeks off. Paying into the retirement is not a big deal. Having a president of the University that was fired from Sprint and giving the presidents position because he was an alumni was a stupid move. Wonder how bad the University will be financially when they fire him. Messing with the lives of the employees is bad enough but what about the students? The morale with the staff is nonexistence. Faculty can be laid off too, wait till you have no staff and the students are neglected because of this. Think they will need faculty then?

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