Despite having the authority to use them for the first time, UNC officials said furloughs will not be used this year to address budget cuts.
During a Tuesday meeting of the Employee Forum executive committee, officials debated the use of furloughs — a temporary, unpaid leave period — as a potential method to balance the University’s budget.
Due to the nature of this year’s 5 percent budget cut, several officials said a furlough would not be an effective means to tighten University spending.
“It’s used when you want to find a one-time savings,” said Richard Mann, vice chancellor for finance and administration, in an interview Wednesday. “It wouldn’t be a permanent budget cut.”
That sentiment was echoed in the UNC-system Board of Governors’ guidelines for implementing furlough authorization adopted July 29.
“Furloughs may be used only to meet one-time budget reductions … Furloughs are not a viable solution for long-term or recurring budget challenges,” the guidelines read.
The guidelines stipulate that a maximum of five furlough days may be taken. Much like the state budget provision allowing system schools to raise tuition by as much as $750, the decision to implement the furlough could possibly be delegated to the chancellor.
On Sept. 2, Gov. Bev Perdue asked all state agencies to prepare scenarios of 5, 10 and 15 percent budget cuts to help close a $3.3 billion shortfall in the state budget.
Jackie Overton, employee forum chairwoman, said the University was only asked to prepare for the first two scenarios.