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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a broad impact on our nation and our state, with tremendous personal and financial loss incurred by millions of people. The coronavirus has also had a major effect on many universities, including UT Permian Basin and brought a great deal of uncertainty into our financial plans and projections.

In response to these unprecedented challenges and with the expectation of budget reductions, we must preserve our financial resources to face the uncertain times ahead while we continue to fulfill our mission in the Permian Basin. As such, the following measures are effective immediately.

  1. Hiring is suspended until further notice. This action applies to all positions currently posted and in any stage of the hiring process. Job offers accepted or already extended will be honored. Any exceptions to this hiring directive will require review and approval by the President. Decisions on hiring exceptions will be made quickly to preserve the hiring pool for those in process that are approved. The hiring exception process applies to all faculty and staff positions regardless of funding source, however requirements for some grant funded positions will necessitate an exemption through the process.
  2. Merit raises, promotions or other salary adjustments are suspended for fiscal year 2021. Faculty promotions resulting from the promotion and tenure review process will be permitted. Current supplemental salary payments may continue at supervisor’s discretion. Exceptions may be requested using the process outlined above.
  3. Use of temporary employees is suspended until further notice. All temporary employee assignments must end no later than Friday, May 15. Any request for temporary employees beyond May 15 must be submitted via the exception request process (see above) and will require approval by the President.
  4. Purchasing will be significantly reduced. I have instructed Cesar Valenzuela, our CFO to sweep part of existing budgets for travel and operations that remain in 2020. We will use the exception process outlined above for essential purchases. Budgets for travel and operations will also be reduced in 2021.
  5. All business travel is suspended until further notice. Exceptions can be requested using the process outlined above.

Additional measures to be implemented soon:

Unfortunately, the measures that we are implementing today will not be sufficient to address the effects of expected revenue reductions. A minor reduction in salary for staff and policy/compensation modifications for summer teaching will likely be necessary. We will complete our analyses in the coming days and communicate these plans with you as quickly as we can.

We believe that we can minimize the number of eliminated positions; however, we do expect that some positions may be eliminated. Again, we will make these decisions quickly and will do everything we can to minimize any reduction in force.

It is unavoidable that this news will cause additional stress during an already stressful time and I sincerely regret that we must take these actions. Please know that I appreciate all that you are doing, and I respect your determination to remain positive and productive for the sake of our students and this great University. We will get through this together and come out even stronger.