UI may permanently lay off some employees as a result of COVID-19

In a campus-wide email sent Monday, UI President Bruce Harreld said some employees may be subject to pay cuts or layoffs.


Jeff Sigmund

Old Capital as seen on April 13, 2020.

Rylee Wilson, News Editor

UI employees may be subject to permanent or temporary layoffs, hiring and salary freezes, or salary reductions as a result of COVID-19-related financial losses.

UI president Bruce Harreld said in a campus-wide email Monday that the UI is projected to lose more than $70 million dollars due to the pandemic. UI Healthcare is projected to lose about $100 million dollars and departments will be forced to make financial cuts — some of which will impact employees.

The email stated that Athletics and Housing & Dining are facing steeper losses than other departments.

“While federal funding will help, it is far short of what is needed to make the university whole,” the email stated. “As a result, many collegiate and central service unit leaders across the university will be forced to make difficult decisions, some of which will impact employees.”

Harreld told The Daily Iowan in May that federal funding will be used to make up for some revenue loss, however there will not be enough to avoid budget cuts.

“So yes, we are looking at freezes, salary reductions, everything. It’s all on the table. It has to be. And that’s also got an element of uncertainty to it. I’m just like all of you,” Harreld said. “People get frustrated with me because I can’t give them a straight answer. I just don’t know how this thing will unfold.”

The cancellation of elective procedures impacted revenue at UI Hospitals and Clinics, said UI Vice President for Medical Affairs Brooks Jackson at a state Board of Regents meeting June 4.

“The decision to temporarily suspend elective procedures, while absolutely the right thing to do to conserve PPE and get us better prepared, had a severe negative impact on our revenues,” Jackson said. “In a matter of weeks, we went from being on track for one of our best years ever, financially speaking — to one of our worst.”