University of Denver announces 38 layoffs, salary reductions for staff

University of Denver Chancellor Jeremy Haefner informed staff of numerous cutbacks in an email Tuesday afternoon as the university attempts to account for an expected $45 million gap in its fiscal year 2021 budget due to COVID-19.

DU plans to lay off approximately 38 staff members, institute temporary salary reductions for staff with salaries higher than $90,000 and temporarily reduce retirement benefits, according to the email.

The announcement follows other cost-cutting measures previously instituted at the university, including cutbacks in travel, food and events; the elimination of car and cellphone allowances; and freezes on nonessential capital projects and hiring.

DU staff laid off were notified by their supervisors Monday and Tuesday, according to Haefner’s email, but it was not specified which departments those layoffs came from.

“Despite every effort to preserve every job at the University, we simply cannot avoid laying off a number of employees whose jobs are not mission critical, and whose future need cannot be assured,” Haefner wrote. “These employees will be eligible for unemployment, and we will provide as much support as we can to ease the transition including severance packages.”

Salary reductions will be instituted in five tiers tied to annual compensation: tier one ($90,000 to $129,999) will see a 3.1% reduction, tier two ($130,000 to $169,999) a 4.6% reduction, tier three ($170,000 to $209,999) a 6.1% reduction, tier four ($210,000 to $249,999) an 8.4% reduction and tier five ($250,000 and above) a 10% reduction. Those reductions will begin with paychecks received Aug. 1 and remain in place through FY 2021, with the possibility that full salaries could be restored by FY 2022.

This story will be updated.

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