Kent State plans layoffs, reduces salaries to balance 2021 budget

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KENT, Ohio (WJW) – Kent State University is making cuts due to a loss of funding brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to university president Todd Diacon, the university will have to reduce its budget by 20% for fiscal year 2021.

He says the shortfall is due to less funding from the state and a decrease in spring and fall enrollment which will come out to a $110 million loss, according to a letter from Kent State.

President Diacon says they will not be using reserve funds.

He says that’s because they don’t know how long the COVID-19 crisis will last and that many of the reserves are in investments, which would be worth much less because of the current state of the stock market.

To make up for the budget shortfall, the university will implement a hiring freeze through 2021, reduce salaries for anyone making over $38,000 a year, as well as postponing new campus projects, stop university travel and reduce funding for athletics.

The university has released more details on those plans here.

The budget shortfall also means layoffs, according to the university website, but does not say how many positions they’re looking to eliminate.

They say that depends on the length of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Kent State has survived the Great Depression, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the Great Recession, bouncing back each time to rise to new heights of programmatic and individual successes and accomplishments,” Diacon closed in his letter to students and faculty.

**More stories on Kent State University here, including their changes because of the coronavirus pandemic.**

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