October 8, 2020

Dear UD Faculty and Staff,

As a follow-up to last week’s General Faculty Meeting and Town Hall concerning operational strategies that are necessary to address the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now advancing measures to further stabilize the financial health of the University of Delaware. We know this is an unsettling time for everyone, and we want to thank you for your steadfast patience and commitment to the University as we chart our path forward.

As you are aware, the period for employees eligible to elect the current voluntary retirement program expired on Monday, October 5. A total of 138 employees demonstrated interest in activating this option. It is important to acknowledge the fact that these individuals have been employees of the University for more than 20 years, and we want to sincerely thank these colleagues for their dedicated service to our University. In so many ways, UD would not be the great University it is today without their contributions. Final approvals of these retirement requests will be communicated to individuals on Friday, October 9.

While further cost-mitigation activities affecting personnel such as workforce reduction, organizational restructuring and other measures will be forthcoming, we will now implement a University-wide 5% salary reduction for non-unionized employees, regardless of funding source, effective November 1. This equates to approximately nine days of leave to be used over the next eight months of fiscal year 2021. The days for most employees will be distributed in the following manner:

  • November 23, 24, 25 — This will result in most employees having a full week off for the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • December 21, 22, 23 — This will result in most employees having two full weeks off at the end of the calendar year.
  • The remaining three days may be designated at the employee’s discretion by June 30, 2021. Supervisor approval will be required for each day.

Supervisors will work to find alternate dates for employees who may need to work on any or all of the prescribed days. Irrespective of when the days are taken, the salary reduction will be evenly spread through the remainder of the fiscal year (November 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021). Employees will retain all benefits, subject to their normal employee contributions.

Please note that this University-wide 5% salary reduction does not apply to employees who are subject to collective bargaining agreements or student employees (graduate and undergraduate), postdoctoral fellows and anyone on an H-1B visa. We will continue to engage in conversations with the AAUP and other unions as we address the budget challenges that affect us all. In the meantime, the urgency of UD's COVID-19 financial challenge requires us to now take the actions that we can.

For senior administrators who already exercised voluntary salary reductions earlier in July, the new University-wide employee salary reduction will be additive.

Unfortunately, the reduction in time and salary may need to be greater than 5% in some units, depending on unit-specific cost-reduction goals, activity levels and strategic planning. If this applies to your unit, you will be receiving specific information from your administrative leader within the next week. In those instances, the University-wide 5% reduction will be a part of any further reductions in time and salary and not be added to them.

If you have questions or are in need of further clarification about information shared in this letter, please contact the Office of Human Resources via email at hrhelp@udel.edu.

Again, we want to thank each of you for your resilience and sacrifice during this trying time. As a community, we are fortunate to share our pride for the University; this includes the difficult times as well, when we must come together, support one another, and persevere to inspire the progress that will define our future.


signature of President Dennis Assanis  

Dennis Assanis

signature of Provost Robin Morgan  

Robin Morgan

signature of Executive Vice President John Long  

John Long
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE 19716   •   USA  •   (302) 831-2111   •   udel.edu/president