Administration takes pay cuts for anticipated funding loss

Michael Pearce, Editor-in-Chief

In a move to combat the anticipated revenue shortage, Oakland University executive staff will be taking pay cuts, as well as implementing other measures.

OU President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz announced in an official email that “…reductions for executives and Deans range from 3-5% with the President taking a 20% reduction.”

Pescovitz’ salary was initially reported at $457,500 annually, making her pay cut $91,500.

“We’re trying to be very conservative and wise with all of our spending patterns,” said John Beaghan, vice president for finance and administration. “The cabinet really thought that we needed leadership to step up and if there were going to be any salary implications that we would be first.”

Pescovitz was at the head of reducing cabinet and her own salaries, spearheading the movement to have the highest-ranking officials be the first to get reduced pay.

“It was a cabinet discussion, and the president really drove the idea, and she is taking the largest cut at 20%,” Beaghan said. “The cabinet unanimously felt they should all participate in that leadership move as well. The next layer was the deans, and that’s where we stopped at this point.”

The anticipation of a revenue shortage has also brought out other measures. In the announcement, Pescovitz introduced hiring freezes, suspension of non-bond funded projects, deferrals of non-essential purchases and restrictions on all university-sponsored travel.

The hiring freezes were made effective on Friday, April 24, when the announcement was initially made. Any hiring made before then was honored, as it took place before the freeze was implemented.

Some of the non-bond funded projects that will be suspended are construction projects. One of the suspended construction plans was putting LED lights in the Kresge Library.

University travel was already suspended, with certain groups having pre-planned trips canceled. This new measure reinforces that, and includes any form of coordinated travel as well.

“Planning and funding support of faculty and staff travel will be suspended,” Pescovitz’s announcement said. “Exceptions will be reviewed by vice presidents of units where special consideration for a waiver will be required.”

The rare case in which a travel request would be funded would be if someone from OU was needed to meet with important government officials.

“If there was some sort of emergency or particularly strategic travel that needed to take place it would be allowed,” Beaghan said. “For instance — if someone was called to Washington (D.C.) to meet with the President — that would be allowed.”