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MSU president and other top administrators to take pay cuts due to coronavirus impact

Samuel Stanley smiling ina blue suit in front of a brick building and trees in the background
Michigan State University

Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley announced Thursday a series of budget cuts arising from the financial strain brought on by the coronavirus.

In a letter to all university employees, Stanley said he and all MSU top executives, of whom there are about 150, will take temporary, immediate pay cuts that could last through May or June or possibly up to a full year.

Stanley's pay cut will be 10%. The others will range from 2 to 7%.

Several construction and remodeling projects could be delayed or changed. And travel, conferences, and purchases are expected to be substantially reduced.

"While we continue to work to assess the impact, we know that the revenue reductions and real costs are already in the $50 million to $60 million range for FY 2020," Stanley wrote in the letter. "There are more budget and employment decisions that will impact our community yet to be made."

Stanley noted that summer and fall enrollments are major factors in the university's financial situation. 

"We've seen promising news in our applications and deposits, which remain near last year's levels," wrote Stanley. "But international student enrollment is anticipated to be impacted due to travel restrictions and visa issues."

According to MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant, it's too soon to be sure what will happen with enrollment because of the many remaining uncertainties about the impact of the virus. 

Guerrant said the university has not ruled out additional cost-saving measures.

"I recognize that these are unprecedented times for so many faculty, staff, students and alumni - both personally and professionally," said Stanley. "I am optimistic that the majority of changes will be temporary, but I also know that if we delay taking action, the effects will be larger and last longer.

Stanley will hold a live streaming event on Monday at 3 p.m. for faculty and staff who will be able to submit questions in advance.

Michigan Radio listeners, readers, and reporters are rising to the challenge every day. If you can, please support essential journalism during this crisis.

Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.
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