Central State to reimburse furloughed staff

They will receive 50% of their wages during that time period; all employees to see 2% salary increase.

Central State University plans to reimburse employees furloughed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

University President Jack Thomas announced Thursday that all Central State employees who took part in the furlough plan will be reimbursed 50% of their wages during that time period. All employees of the university will additionally see a 2% salary increase.

“I came into the presidency in the midst of a global pandemic,” Thomas said. “We have navigated as a team to keep our campus safe and to do everything we could in our power to make sure that our students continue to receive a quality education. Our employees have risen above and beyond the call of duty. Their commitment, dedication, and persistence are what have been the driving forces and motivators for our institution. Therefore I am very pleased to have an opportunity to acknowledge that in a small way by having some of these give backs.”

Central State instituted a 27-day furlough in 2020.

In his University Institute address Aug. 12, Thomas said he had found that staff salaries were “not as competitive as they should be,” prompting the university-wide wage bump.

In addition, any Central State employee who chooses to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be given free parking for the academic year, and staff are eligible for a 50% tuition discount for the university’s new online Master of Business Administration program, launching this fall.

The online MBA program is “the beginning of the university moving into unchartered waters of graduate studies,” Thomas said.

CSU students and graduates are slated to receive benefits of their own. Students who graduated in fiscal years 2020 and ’21 will have their debt to the university forgiven. All students will receive free textbooks for the current academic year, and any who get vaccinated will receive $100.

“No incentives or gifts that we could offer will ever be enough to express our sincere appreciation for each of you, for how far we have come and how far we have yet to go,” Thomas said.

The university has raised approximately $3.9 million in funds from the date Thomas took office to the end of the fiscal year. The foundation of the university’s fundraising is “rooted in our focus on establishing mutually beneficial business partnerships,” Thomas said, referring to a list that includes Amazon and Procter and Gamble.

Thomas took office as the ninth president of Central State on July 1, 2020.

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