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Emory University cuts pay for all employees making $75k or more

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Emory University cuts pay for all employees making $75k or more

Main Quad on Emory University's primary Druid Hills Campus. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons
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This story has been updated. 

Atlanta, GA — The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing Emory University to cut costs, and that means pay cuts for employees making $75,000 or more a year.

“Emory University has made the difficult but necessary decision to implement a temporary compensation reduction for all regular employees, both faculty and staff, earning $75,000 or more a year,” Assistant Vice President Laura Diamond said in an email. “This five percent reduction goes into effect on September 1 and runs through the end of the calendar year. Emory will provide impacted employees with one personal day per month for the duration of this reduction. This action will not impact Emory’s employees receiving $75,000 or less in compensation, postdoctoral staff, medical house staff and those affected by cost-saving measures already taken by Emory Healthcare and the School of Medicine for clinical faculty. ”

Emory will limit the number of students on campus this fall due to the pandemic. The university recently announced that it would only allow students to live on campus if they fall into certain categories.

“This action will result in the loss of revenue from housing, dining and student fees, which when combined with the decision to hold undergraduate tuition and fees flat for this academic year, means Emory will have fewer resources at a time when the university is facing significantly higher costs because of the ongoing pandemic,” Diamond said.

Diamond said other employees have also seen their salaries cut.

“This action follows other steps Emory is taking to reduce costs,” Diamond said. “In May, Emory announced that President Sterk, the President’s Leadership Team and the deans would reduce their compensation by 15 percent effective July 1 through the end of 2020.”

An Emory employee who spoke to Decaturish but didn’t want their name published said, “Personally, this is going to sting — families are already stretched. But the pandemic is hurting a lot of people and I do feel Emory’s been pretty transparent through the process.”

The employee blamed state and national leaders for creating a situation where Emory has to cut employees’ pay.

“Its COVID-19 response has been pretty proactive in general, all things considered,” the employee said. “Emory has offered faculty and students options in terms of in-person teaching, in contrast with the state system, whose faculty are generally furious about plans for the fall, which require face-to-face teaching. I just wish we had decent leadership at the state and national levels. This didn’t have to be as bad as it is. If we’re unable to re-open like other countries, we can thank terrible leadership by [President] Trump, [Gov.] Kemp, and others who aren’t coordinating solutions. With proper testing, contact tracing, and scheduled shutdowns, we’d have been able to get the pandemic under control. Instead, it rages on and the chaos continues.”

Here is Diamond’s full statement to Decaturish:

Emory University has made the difficult but necessary decision to implement a temporary compensation reduction for all regular employees, both faculty and staff, earning $75,000 or more a year. This five percent reduction goes into effect on September 1 and runs through the end of the calendar year. Emory will provide impacted employees with one personal day per month for the duration of this reduction. This action will not impact Emory’s employees receiving $75,000 or less in compensation, postdoctoral staff, medical house staff and those affected by cost-saving measures already taken by Emory Healthcare and the School of Medicine for clinical faculty.

In a letter to faculty and staff Emory’s executive vice president wrote: “We recognize that this salary reduction will be felt by you and your family. We regret that this temporary change is necessary but hope that this shared sacrifice will result in long-term health and stability for the university.”

Emory recently shared plans to reduce the number of people on campus this fall to keep the community safe and healthy as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the region. This action will result in the loss of revenue from housing, dining and student fees, which when combined with the decision to hold undergraduate tuition and fees flat for this academic year, means Emory will have fewer resources at a time when the university is facing significantly higher costs because of the ongoing pandemic.

This action follows other steps Emory is taking to reduce costs. In May, Emory announced that President Sterk, the President’s Leadership Team and the deans would reduce their compensation by 15 percent effective July 1 through the end of 2020.

Laura Diamond

Assistant Vice President

Communications and Public Affairs

 

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