Chancellor's Communique

Our Fiscal Integrity, 4-22-20

Dear colleagues,

At CU Anschutz, we hold true the extraordinary value of our people, now more than ever. Our frontline workers have risen to the challenge of this global pandemic with resilience and integrity, and our campus community joined forces to keep our education programs, research enterprise and support services running amid rapid change and uncertainty. It's because of you that we have been able to take these unprecedented measures to ensure the health and safety of all in our community.
This healthcare crisis has brought with it a financial crisis that has left few – if any – organizations untouched. We continue to feel the profound impact on our campus, community and way of life, and we have already taken several steps to protect the fiscal integrity of our organization.

Hiring chill – We are limiting the hiring of new employees and replacing only those vacant positions deemed “mission-critical," including positions already posted. 

Pause on merit increases – The normal July merit increase cycle is indefinitely delayed. In addition, a temporary moratorium is now in effect on pay increases, promotions and employee transfers until further notice. 

Pause on travel – All international and domestic travel sponsored or supported by the university has been suspended. When traveling safely becomes possible, only essential travel will be permitted, and it must be approved through the appropriate channels.

Reduce discretionary spending – We continue to implement reductions in discretionary spending that are not critical to the mission and operation of the university, including the use of outside services, consulting, conferences, travel, official functions, office supplies, equipment and other discretionary costs or activities.  

Even after these immediate steps, the fiscal impact is growing as the pandemic continues its rapid pace. Regrettably, our departments, schools and college have been and will continue to be required to make difficult decisions, in order to reduce costs to ensure our critical operations are sustained in the months ahead. These measures may include temporary pay reductions, furloughs and other actions designed to reduce our costs while minimizing the impact on our employees to the greatest extent possible. 
As CU President Mark Kennedy noted in his message this morning, CU is viewing its approach in three phases: triage, stabilization and transformation. Our triage began when we moved to emergent  “critical employee only” status on March 16 with the pause to our research, and a fast transition to remote learning and working. Through this stabilization phase, we will need to be creative, disciplined and use the innovation skills we are known for at CU Anschutz. 

We will continue to make decisions under the guiding principle of protecting our faculty and staff, while ensuring the institution remains strong and viable so we can continue our mission. Be assured that, wherever possible, we are looking for temporary steps to shore up our operations, rather than permanent measures with longer-term impacts. 
While we don’t know how long this crisis will last, we do know that our work is critical to the recovery of Colorado. 

We are developing a plan for return to work in a deliberate, phased-in manner and will be guided by the best science and data available to us, with the health and safety of our employees a priority. We want to ensure that no single area shoulders this burden alone. We will work to avoid sacrificing programs essential to our mission. And we will strive to prepare ourselves to quickly come out of this event to serve patients, educate students, conduct critical research, accelerate innovation, and support each other, stronger as an institution and ready for whatever our new normal will demand. 

We remain humbled by your dedication and grateful for your tenacity of spirit, and will do all we can to continue to support our employees as we try to navigate this storm.

We will continue to assess this evolving situation and keep you apprised. Please continue to take care of yourselves, your families and each other.

With gratitude,

Don Elliman

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