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University of Arizona to furlough most of staff amid coronavirus outbreak

(Facebook Photo/University of Arizona)

PHOENIX — The University of Arizona will begin furloughing most of its staff in May due to the extreme financial crisis resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

Remaining in effect until June 2021, the number of furlough days and subsequent pay reduction will be based on the employee’s annual salary.

Those making more than $75,000 a year face the biggest impact of the furlough program, with a 15% reduction in pay due to the 39 furlough days required.

Higher paid staff, such as those earning more than $150,000 annually, will be placed in a pay reduction program and face a 17% to 20% decrease in pay.

The furlough program will be reviewed each month in order to reach a savings target for the university.

University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins told the Arizona Daily Star that around $150 million will be saved from the furlough program and other cutbacks, such as halting three buildings projects, after Robbins said the university is projected to lose $250 million as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The University of Arizona, along with other universities in the state, were scheduled to receive funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Under the relief, schools are required to give students at least half of the money that they receive.

The University of Arizona collected around 30.9 million from the act, which Robbins told the Arizona Daily Star the university has already received and has been accounted into the $250 million loss projection.

The money that each school received was calculated based on the number of full-time students who are eligible for the federal Pell Grant, total populations of the schools and the number of students who were not enrolled full-time prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

The University of Arizona is one of the largest employers in southern Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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