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Facing Deficit Of Up To $4M, JU Announces Furloughs, Pay Cuts

Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University Tim Cost delivers a video address announcing furloughs and pay cuts.

Many Jacksonville University employees will see a reduction in pay, likely lasting more than a year.

In a video to staff, JU President Tim Cost announced the pay cuts and furloughs on Wednesday.

Cost said employees who earn “roughly $45,000 to $50,000" will take a 1% pay cut. The pay cut scales up from there.

"If you're up in the six figures, we're asking you to take as much a 6% salary reduction," Cost said.

The highest-paid staff will be taking larger cuts, ranging from 10% all the way up to 50%, for the top earners.

Cost said the pay cuts start immediately and are scheduled to be in effect for the next 15 months.

“We’ve decided that there will be furloughs because they’re not terminated. These are periods of time when someone comes off our payroll for a predetermined amount time and they’re able to gather unemployment,” Cost said.

He did not go into detail in the video about the specifics of how the furloughs would be handled.

Cost is predicting a multi-million-dollar deficit for JU’s current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“We’re going to be looking at between a $3.5 million and $4 million deficit in this very year,” Cost said.

He said the one common thread that seems to be running through every university amid the coronavirus pandemic is uncertainty.

“It seems to be paralyzing some of the students who are trying to decide,” Cost said of high school juniors and seniors considering their post-graduation options.

Although Cost didn't specifically refer to his own earnings in the video, WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reports JU's president will be taking a 50% pay cut. The Times-Union reports Cost makes about $700,000 in salary and benefits, citing the university’s 2018 tax filing.

JU President Tim Cost's Video Message Announcing Furloughs, Pay Cuts

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.