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Message to Faculty: Mandatory Furlough Program

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, on January 5 Interim President Ikenberry announced a mandatory furlough program intended to conserve cash in light of the large delay in payments to the university from the State. We write today to address some of the questions that have arisen among faculty with regard to furloughs, and also to refer you to resources available on the Internet to answer furlough questions.

We are asking that faculty exercise their best judgment in scheduling their four furlough days, recognizing the complex mission of UIC and our desire to sustain it under these difficult circumstances, and we have great confidence that you will do so. Despite the hardship that furloughs will create for every one of us, it is imperative that we continue to be responsive to the needs of students and the demands of research programs and contracts and grants at UIC. One furlough day is to be taken in each pay period for four consecutive months, starting January 16. While we anticipate that most faculty will avoid taking furlough on days when they are scheduled to teach, we know that there will be instances when classes cannot be held due to the instructor's furlough. In such cases, we expect faculty to give students advance notice and to assign work outside the class.

Faculty should inform their department head in writing as soon as possible regarding their chosen furlough days. If any of these days occur on a teaching day, the faculty member should also include their planned arrangements for the students on that day and how students will be notified.

While faculty are not subject to the same timekeeping requirements as academic professional staff, faculty are still expected not to work on their designated furlough day unless they have otherwise elected to participate in the Voluntary Pay Reduction (VPR) Program in lieu of furloughs. The Voluntary Pay Reduction option is particularly important for academic professionals who do not want to be limited to 32 hours of work on their furlough week; it also avoids the furlough reporting requirement for that week. Please consult the HR Policy website for further information regarding the VPR program and the mandatory furlough program.

Additionally, listed below are website links to questions that may be of particular interest to faculty.

Should you have other questions that are not answered by the FAQ's, please e-mail uichfurloughquestions@uic.edu for assistance.

UIC's mission is as important as ever, and demand for the education we offer and the knowledge we create is growing even in these harsh economic times. We thank you for your understanding and support and look forward to working with you to help shape the future of UIC.

Sincerely,
R. Michael Tanner
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs