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K-State announces hundreds of emergency furloughs

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Kansas State University (KSN File Photo)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas State University announced that it is furloughing hundreds of workers over the summer because of financial struggles.

The university said on Saturday that an estimated 349 employees will be furloughed from Housing & Dining, Recreational Services, Center for Child Development, Lafene Health Center and K-State Student Union.

K-State leaders said the cuts are happening because expected revenue isn’t coming in while there aren’t students on campus. They believe the furloughs will save nearly $2 million.

The furloughs will happen on May 16 with plans for workers to return for the fall semester, according to the university.

“Early in the pandemic, we made two key decisions. The first was to maintain employment levels during this time of limited operations, and the second was to issue refunds to students for housing and dining,” said Thomas Lane, vice president for student life. “While these decisions were right for the time, we are no longer able to maintain employment levels given the reduction in revenues.  We understand the duress this will cause for our employees and move forward with a spirit of empathy and compassion.”

K-State gave this breakdown of their furlough plans:

  • Housing and Dining has 207 staff members impacted by emergency furloughs. Traditionally, nine-month employees were offered work in the summer, but this will not be available this year. Current plans call for restoring operations on Aug. 1 to prepare for the fall semester.
  • The Recreational Services emergency furlough affects 20 employees, the unit will continue online programming in the summer, which has been growing in participant numbers since limited operations began.
  • The Center for Child Development will retain three employees on payroll while 37 will be emergency furloughed. An operations plan is being developed as to how the center could resume operations in a way that protects the health and safety of children and staff.
  • Lafene Health Center’s emergency furlough plan reflects various percentages of furlough for staff over the period of May 16-July 31 and impacts 48 staff members.
  • K-State Student Union’s emergency furlough plan has staff members coming back on payroll to prepare for an Aug. 1 opening based on duties. Seven staff members remain on payroll throughout the furlough period, while 37 staff are impacted.

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