Members of the Wayne State community,
Yesterday, I shared with you our current assessment of the university’s financial situation, which included actions we are taking immediately and the potential impacts on our FY 2021 budget. In two of the budget scenarios outlined, I referred to the possibility of furloughs, which we had intended to implement in a tiered fashion to minimize the impact on employees with lower salaries.
Members of my executive leadership team were in complete support of furloughs, should they become necessary, but wished to go further as a leadership team. Today, we agreed to implement voluntary pay cuts immediately and channel these funds to the Student Emergency Fund, which now is a part of the overall Warrior Relief and Response effort that was created last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective immediately and through the end of the year, my salary will be reduced by 10%. Members of my executive team — including the deans of the schools and colleges — agreed unanimously to have their salaries reduced by 5%.
The Student Emergency Fund is a resource created to help currently enrolled Wayne State students who are in need of financial assistance during a time of hardship or unexpected emergency with issues such as transportation, food, utilities, medications or personal tragedy. Students can be considered even if they have received aid previously. The program ensures that temporary hardships do not prevent students from continuing forward and achieving their dreams of a college degree.
While all students are eligible to receive these new funds, special focus will be on providing assistance to students who are ineligible for support from CARES funds based on the fund requirements. All of our current students are considered part of the Warrior family, and we want to make sure all of our students are eligible for this support.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Wayne State students, faculty and staff have stepped up in extraordinary ways to support those in need. At one of our first coronavirus meetings, employees began donating their sick time to help fellow employees whose sick banks were low or exhausted. This began almost as a symbolic gesture, but we’ve now banked thousands of hours, more than $200,000 worth from our executive leadership alone. Since then, Wayne State Warriors have found many other ways to help, from establishing early testing for health care providers and first responders to providing virtual mental health support and creating face shields through 3D printing. Today’s announcement is one more step.
As I noted in my message yesterday, I could not be prouder of our institution’s response during these uncertain and difficult times. Thank you for remaining Warrior Strong.
M. Roy Wilson