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University Of Kentucky Announces Round Of Coronavirus-Driven Furloughs

Josh James

About 1,700 University of Kentucky employees will be furloughed as the school works to weather the financial fallout from COVID-19.

Most of the affected employees — around 1,500 — fall within the school's health care enterprise. They include both full and part-time workers who will be placed on what the school is calling "low operational activity/administrative no-pay status" starting April 26. Another 200 in UK dental clinics, and dining and transportation services will also be furloughed.

Impacted employees can opt to use vacation, holiday, or bonus leave before transitioning to no-pay status - at which point they will be eligible for unemployment.

At UK HealthCare, the furloughs could last anywhere from one to ten weeks.

“Our hope is to have those impacted community members rejoin our work as soon as possible. We are making these decisions — and others like them, if we have to — thoughtfully and compassionately, as we seek to protect the institution and its capacity to serve for the long term,” UK President Capilouto said. “We will communicate with all those impacted — and our entire community — transparently at each step of the way.”

The university has spent roughly $20 million creating drive-thru testing, expanding tele-health services, and making other preparations for COVID-19. In the meantime, the suspension of elective surgeries has cut outpatient volumes by 45 percent this month.

Overall, UK says it's facing a $70 million budget shortfall in the next year, and all departments can expect cuts.

Read the full UKNOW press release.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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