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Cutler Hall on Ohio University's campus in Athens, Ohio. (FILE)

Furlough-reduced OU faculty and staff to be fully refunded through operational surplus

Outgoing Ohio University President Duane Nellis announced Thursday that OU would be fully refunding all employees who were furloughed as a result of financial strains arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In an email to university faculty and staff, Nellis referenced a previous email from March 16 stating the university-wide furlough would end ahead of schedule and that university leadership would consider refunding furlough-reduced employees should there be an operational surplus at the end of the fiscal year. 

Nellis confirmed in his June 10 email the university did experience a surplus and plans to refund the entire amount of the nine-month furlough for all faculty and staff employed as of May 15. Those who are currently employed will receive the refund later this month. 

“Our first priority with this operational surplus was to fully repay our employees who have remained deeply committed to our students and mission during this incredible time,” Nellis said in the email.

Incoming President Hugh Sherman was involved in the decision to refund the furloughed employees. Nellis expressed his confidence in Sherman to carry out this duty after he’s sworn in June 14.

The remainder of the surplus is planned to be set into reserves to be used for a budgeted deficit for the fiscal year 2022. 


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