MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System was set Thursday to take the first steps toward furloughing employees as the coronavirus pandemic stretches on.
The Board of Regents’ executive committee was scheduled to meet to adjust personnel policies to give system President Ray Cross and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank the power to create furlough policies. The full board would have to sign off before any furlough policies could be implemented.
System spokesman Mark Pitsch said he didn’t have any projections of how many employees might be furloughed.
The system shut down in-person classes in March and students were asked to move back home. All spring sports have been canceled.
The system estimates the moves will result in a nearly $170 million loss just for the spring semester. The losses include the cost of issuing refunds for on-campus parking, dining and housing, technology purchases to move classes online, payments to student workers who lost their jobs and athletic ticket sales.
UW-Madison stands to lose a projected $100 million during the semester, the most of any system school. UW-Milwaukee expects to lose $9.1 million.
Cross has said the system expects to receive about $94 million under the federal stimulus package, with about half of that going to grants for students and the rest going toward institutional support.
System officials have asked legislators for an additional $59 million in emergency funding. Democrats tried to include the money in a pandemic relief bill the Legislature took up this week, but majority Republicans killed the proposal.
The executive committee meeting was scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. local time Thursday. It will be streamed live at www.wisconsin.edu/regents/board-of-regents-live-streaming.