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ASHLAND – Ashland University faculty and staff who saw their wages and benefits reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic will have them fully restored in the new budget cycle beginning June 1, the university announced Thursday.

In addition, they will receive back pay for the 2020 reductions. The restoration also includes the university’s contribution to employee retirement accounts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused the University to take dramatic action and required us to make certain sustaining adjustments to the fiscal year 2021 budget,” AU President Dr. Carlos Campo wrote in a memo to faculty and staff.

The restoration is coming now, he said, “as a result of the campus community stewardship, personal sacrifices and the federal stimulus packages awarded to the University over the past 13 months.”

The reductions, announced exactly one year ago, affected roughly 400 of the university’s total 836 workers. In addition, a number of hourly employees saw a reduction in their weekly schedules.

Employees making $45,800 to $78,999 saw their salaries reduced by 5 percent; $79,000 to $109,999 by 6 percent; $110,000 to $149,999 by 10 percent; and $150,000 and over by 14 percent.

The president’s salary was reduced by 18 percent.

Employees will receive one-time lump-sum payments by May 31 to cover the amounts cut in the last year. Others who were furloughed over the summer of 2020 will receive a payment to cover the difference between their normal pay and the unemployment received during that time. Hourly employees who experienced a reduction will also receive a retroactive payment.

“I want to again state my appreciation for all you’ve done during this past year and commitment to the University and our students,” Campo told employees. “Your tireless effort reflects that ‘Accent on the Individual’ is a way of life here at AU.”

The university acknowledged that challenges remain for higher education in a post-COVID world, and Ashland University will need to adapt quickly in the months ahead to ensure that their mission thrives well into the future.

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