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April 7, 2020
To Employees at the Coral Gables and Marine Campuses (non-UHealth),

We would like to extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for the way you have joined together, in the spirit of One U, to ensure the University continues to fulfill its mission during these unprecedented times. Just a few months ago, the prospect of moving the entire teaching and administrative functions of the University to an online/remote environment would have been thought impossible. Yet today, that is our reality, and everyone is continuing to do their part to achieve one of the most remarkable accomplishments in our University’s storied history.

As we shared during a recent virtual town hall, today’s highly uncertain economic environment poses serious financial implications for our University, as well as for our health care system, UHealth. These are unprecedented times, which require significant measures. We are taking the following actions to reduce expenses, effective immediately, to preserve our mission of teaching, research, innovation, and service as we approach our centennial.

1. Hiring Freeze: There will be a hiring freeze for faculty and staff positions until at least the end of the calendar year. This includes all new positions and all vacant positions but does not include student worker positions. HR will establish a process to establish any exceptions, which will be rare.

This hiring freeze does not impact offers that have already been extended and each dean will review with the provost the status of authorized searches for faculty positions and jointly determine those that will proceed and those that will be paused.

We may ask you to operate in vastly different ways, to assume new responsibilities, or to help across units where there are vacancies to ensure operational continuity in these extraordinary times.

2. Postpone FY21 Merit Funding: Postponing FY21 merit funding will allow us time to quantify our fall enrollment and to further quantify the financial impact to the UHealth system from COVID-19.

3. FY21 Non-Compensation Expense Reductions: All budget centers, including colleges, schools, and administrative/operational departments will significantly reduce or eliminate travel, entertainment, outside services, consulting, conferences, meetings, and other non-essential, non-salary expenses.

4. Capital Projects Pause: Capital projects that are already under construction will continue (for example, Lakeside Village and the Student Services Building on the Coral Gables campus). However, we have postponed nearly every other capital expenditure until fiscal year 2022.

5. Use of Donor Funds: In addition to being good for donor stewardship, units are asked to use operating gifts and spendable endowment income balances in advance of unrestricted funds.

6. Expanding First-Year Class: Working with the Office of Enrollment Management, we hope to welcome 2,350 new ’Canes as first-year students in Fall 2020.

As previously mentioned, the University’s telecommuting and temporary pay practices have been extended through April 30, 2020. We will reassess these policies and communicate any changes in advance of that date. In the short term, we have quickly adapted to physical distancing practices while providing support to our frontline health care workers who are preparing for an increase in COVID-19 cases. Our next phase will be to stand together to face the financial implications that lie ahead and make sacrifices to sustain our University.

We know that these steps will not be easy, and there may be additional financial measures that we may need to consider. But ’Canes are resilient, and we will get through this challenge together and will emerge an even stronger U.

Finally, ’Canes Care for ’Canes. We wish you and your families good health and safety. If there is anything we can do for you, or if you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Jeffrey L. Duerk signature
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Jacqueline Travisano signature
Jacqueline Travisano, Ed.D
Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Operating Officer
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