University of Idaho President Scott Green announced in a Monday memo that the school is considering a mandatory furlough for all university employees to help defray budgetary holdbacks related to the pandemic.

On Friday, Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced a new plan to reduce education funding in the state by about 5 percent in response to the fiscal fallout of COVID-19. The reduction will take effect at the start of fiscal year 2021 on July 1.

The cut comes as the UI continues to grapple with budgetary shortfalls of its own, as well as 1 percent and 2 percent holdbacks handed down by the state for fiscal years 2020 and ’21 respectively.

Green said in the memo that furloughs would amount to a roughly 3 percent pay cut on average per employee, with the school’s highest-paid employees shouldering the lion’s share of the burden. He said the move is expected to save about $3.3 million to help offset the holdback.

Green said the pandemic’s effect on fall enrollment for the coming school year remains uncertain, but warned a drop in enrollment would have significant budgetary implications.

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