University of Memphis athletic department announces furloughs, eliminates more than a dozen positions

University of Memphis athletic department announces furloughs, eliminates more than a dozen positions
University of Memphis (WHBQ)

MEMPHIS,Tenn. — The University of Memphis announced that the Athletics Department expects to furlough and layoff workers in response to the impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

Beginning Thursday, October 1, UofM employees with a salary of or exceeding $40,000 will be subject to furloughs and 19 positions in the athletic department are being eliminated.

“As we have shared previously, COVID-19 has had a major financial impact on our athletics department,” said Memphis Director of Athletics Laird Veatch. “Our original budget projections of a $4.4 million deficit have now more than doubled to a range of $9 million to $11.5 million. While we were able to manage some of the projected deficit through cuts to our operational budgets, we have unfortunately been left with limited options and forced to make challenging decisions that impact the lives of our coaches, staff and their families.”

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All full-time employees will be subject to furloughs equivalent to 10-20% of their salary based on compensation levels, according to a release obtained by FOX13.

Employees with the highest earnings will receive the largest cuts, with those at a $250,000 or more salary experiencing a 20% reduction.

The university expects to save $20 million in funding from the cost-cutting decision.

“We are extremely grateful to our fans who have chosen to help us Keep Memphis Roaring,” said Veatch. "Without the support of our loyal and generous Tiger Scholarship Fund donors, our situation would be even more dire. We estimate more than $2 million in savings from these difficult personnel decisions, which will be earmarked to cover unfunded scholarship costs for our student-athletes this year.

“This is a sad day for Memphis Athletics, and one that I hoped would never come. However, we are determined to manage through these difficult times, support our student-athletes and continue to position our programs to maintain the momentum of success established in recent years.”