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University of Iowa athletics announces temporary pay cuts for coaches, staff

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 2:35 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Administrators for the University of Iowa Athletics Department said that it will be slashing the budget for fiscal year 2021 by millions in order to stem the financial impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Tuesday.

Gary Barta, director of athletics for the program, said that the budget would be cut by around $15 million, setting it for around $112.5 million. The difference is made up of around $13 million in reduced operating expenses, with the rest being adjustments to pay.

Projections for the coming fiscal year are based on the assumption that both football and basketball will complete seasons with fans in attendance. If those seasons, which generate significant revenue for the program, are disrupted, then further cuts would be needed, Barta said.

“The pandemic has dealt us a financial situation that requires difficult decisions,” Barta said, in a statement. “It is our responsibility to maintain a fiscally responsible operation while providing the highest level of service to our student-athletes.”

Head coaches Kirk Ferentz, Fran McCaffery, Tom Brands, and Lisa Bluder all voluntarily agreed to a 15% reduction in base salary for the budget year or an equivalent contribution to the department. Barta reduced his total compensation by over 30 percent, and deputy athletics director Barbara Burke took a 25% salary reduction, according to the department.

The rest of the department staff will see pay reductions based on their classification and pay scale. For employees who are non-contracted Professional and Scientific Staff, the reductions are on a graduated scale:

  • Below $50,143 - 2% reduction
  • $50,143 to $99,999 - 3% reduction
  • $100,000 to 149,999 - 5% reduction
  • $150,000 to $199,999 - 7.5% reduction
  • $200,000 or more - 10% reduction

Merit employees will be given unpaid leave days in either six- or eight-day lengths. Contracted employees were also asked to participate in voluntary reductions or contributions back.

“I care deeply about our staff and recognize a reduction in salary will have a significant impact on many families throughout the department. I want to thank our entire staff for their support and understanding as we have worked through this process,” Barta said. “We are trying to balance making necessary financial cuts with spreading the sacrifice thoughtfully.”

Other colleges and universities’ athletic departments have announced similar budget restructurings, including Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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