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UNL freezes pay for employees, announces some reopening guidelines
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UNL freezes pay for employees, announces some reopening guidelines

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty and staff won't be getting merit-based pay raises for the 2020-21 school year, Chancellor Ronnie Green told the campus in an email Thursday.

Lost revenue and potential future impacts on state funding led UNL to freeze salaries for the year, Green added.

"While Nebraska's economy seems to be weathering the economic downturn somewhat better than many other states, we must be pragmatic about the loss of state revenues as we plan for the future," he wrote.

UNL extends facility closures to May 31, plans to gradually loosen restrictions

Promotional increases — for faculty who gain or advance in tenure status, for example — will still be awarded, Green added.

Freezing salaries is expected to save $7 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year, a UNL spokeswoman said.

NU administrators estimate COVID-19 could result in a $50 million fiscal hit across the university system and its campuses in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney.

Green also provided an update on UNL's gradual reopening in preparation for the fall 2020 semester.

NU announces plans to have classes on campus in fall

Restrictions limiting who had access to campus buildings will be lifted beginning June 1, he said. Previously, only employees whose physical presence was necessary could enter campus buildings.

The chancellor warned, however, that it would be some time before UNL would return to pre-pandemic campus density.

Unit leaders are asked to ensure no more than one-third of their office employees are present at any time, while employees capable of working from home can continue doing so through June 30.

Those who return to campus are asked to limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people, wear masks or face coverings when interacting with others, and avoid in-person meetings in lieu of videoconferencing software.

The bookstore in the Nebraska Union on City Campus will open June 8 with limited hours, while the 24-hour computer lab will also open for students with an NCard.

Campus Recreation facilities, including the tennis courts and Mabel Lee Recreation Field will open June 1; the Campus Rec Center, Outdoor Adventures Center and Recreation and Wellness Center will open with limited hours June 15.

UNL's Children's Center will reopen June 15 under new guidelines, Green also said. Further information will be announced at a later date.

University libraries will remain closed through June.

UNL will begin installing hand sanitizer stations across campus, "with the goal of providing hand sanitizer in all buildings by August," Green said.

Construction projects at NU moving ahead amid economic slowdown

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS

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