Robert Morris University eliminates some staff positions, furloughs others in response to financial loss after COVID-19

John Blinn, News Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP – Staff and coaches at Robert Morris University have been furloughed and several other staff positions have been eliminated in an attempt to lessen the financial impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university announced on Wednesday that staff whose workload had “diminished” would be furloughed. According to the university, this furlough would include coaches and other staff members in the Department of Athletics.

RMU also announced that they have eliminated some staff positions, including positions that were still seeking replacements. These eliminated positions have not been announced.

Furloughed employees can expect to be called in on an “as-needed” basis.

The statement assured furloughed staff that they would continue to receive the benefits they were entitled to. Additionally, RMU stated that it would continue to cover individual health insurance and other premiums.

Robert Morris also plans to reduce its university operating budgets by $3 million and to withhold staff raises that had been budgeted for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

President Chris Howard and the other members of the university’s Cabinet will be taking a 5% reduction in salary.

It is estimated that the financial impact could reach up to $10 million by the end of December 2020.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story implied that RMU’s Board of Trustees would be taking a 5% pay reduction. Membership on the board is an unpaid position. The pay reduction instead will apply to the university’s Cabinet, which is composed of the university president and various vice presidents.