Dear Students & Colleagues,
I am writing about the impact to students and employees of the University's furlough and furlough-based salary programs that went into effect on August 10th and dictate that many faculty and staff take furlough/flex days in which they are "not working nor performing job duties." (Please see https://hr.arizona.edu/FY-2020-2021-Furlough-Program for details on these programs.)
The furlough and furlough-based salary programs were originally intended to extend through the end of June, 2021. While President Robbins announced this morning that the University will end these programs sooner than originally planned we will not know the details for some time, and we are already dealing with their effects and will continue doing so until they come to an end.
These programs present challenges for all of us, as individuals, and for our College.
Our priority, and that of our university, has been clear: to provide our students with the best educational experience possible, with as little interruption as possible. In response to the furlough programs, we are as teams and as individuals adjusting our schedules with the core educational goals as the foundation. College of Law unit leaders are working with their teams to ensure as much continuity of work as possible, including redistributing duties as necessary.
And yet, while the core educational experience is protected, we must acknowledge that with reduced working hours, it is not possible to fully maintain business as usual. I hope all of us will keep this in mind as we tend to our academic and professional duties. If an employee is away from work due to furlough/flex time, there will be an email auto-reply. Please be patient, and, when possible, allow more time than usual for answers to your communications, as there may be delayed responses.
Students — I am grateful for your ongoing positive approach and grace in adapting to the evolving educational experience we all face. You may feel the impact of the furlough most directly when you reach out with a question, or for support. Please know that we are doing everything in our power to maintain responsiveness, even if it looks a little different than what some of you experienced with us in prior years, or, for our new students, what you will again experience when we return to something closer to normal.
Thank you all for your patience with everyone in our community while we navigate these new programs together. Please let me know if you have any questions and, as always, stay safe, and stay healthy.