From Kevin’s Desk: Stewardship Makes Blue Go (4/24/2020)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

As you saw in President Schlissel’s recent message, the university is taking steps to ensure our financial stability and help us navigate the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to continued restrictions on travel and discretionary spending, we have also instituted a number of additional measures, including hiring and salary freezes and voluntary furloughs. I encourage you to read the full message, if you haven’t already, and talk with your supervisor if you have questions. These are unsettling times, and these new actions are likely adding to what is already a very stressful situation. Please know, all of these measures are designed to keep jobs secure, which is our top priority. While none of us can predict what the future holds, I’m optimistic that if we work together to reduce costs, we will stay on firm financial footing.

I want to thank all of our colleagues in Finance and the Investment Office for their amazing work over the last few weeks. In particular, I want to give a special shout out to the Payroll Office for ensuring there are no interruptions to the payment of compensation and benefits during this situation. Critical employees have been coming into the office to run regular and off-cycle payrolls, they have managed tracking for COVID-19 time banks and have made alternative arrangements for the more than 500 employees who typically pick up paychecks in person. You can read more about their incredible efforts on our website. Please join me in thanking the Payroll team for their critical work.  YOU FOLKS ROCK!!!

Last, but not least, this past Wednesday, April 22, was Earth Day. This year, our university celebrated Earth Day for the 50th time! Even if you didn’t participate in one of the many virtual Earth Day events, you can still celebrate by spending a few minutes outside – take a walk, sit in your yard, or just open a window and breathe in some fresh air. Celebrating our planet (even during this snowy spring) is a great way to relax and unwind. I always find comfort in nature, and encourage you to do the same.

Thanks for all you are doing to take care of the university and each other. We will get through this together!

With much appreciation and gratitude,