A message from President M. Duane Nellis
The following message was shared to OHIO faculty and staff on June 10, 2021.
Dear Colleagues –
I’m reaching out as a follow up to our March announcement ending the University-wide furlough with more good news. My leadership team and I made a commitment to you that should OHIO end the year with an operational surplus, we would evaluate the opportunity to refund furlough-reduced employees a portion of the 9-month furlough. We now know that we are in a position to refund the full amount of the cost savings furlough for all faculty and staff actively employed as of May 15.* Current employees will receive the repayment later this month.
The combination of the restoration of funding through state share of instruction as well as additional federal stimulus funding distributed in 2021 played a significant role in the shift in our financial picture. In addition, your work to manage expenses at every level throughout the year helped move us toward a substantial surplus. Our first priority with this operational surplus was to fully repay our employees who have remained deeply committed to our students and mission during this incredible time. The remainder of the surplus will be moved into reserves to help offset a budgeted deficit in FY22 and to fund innovations that will help position us for a stronger financial future.
This year has been difficult for all of us, and I’m thrilled to share this good news in one of my final messages to you as your President. On Monday, I will join you in welcoming Dr. Hugh Sherman as 22nd President of Ohio University. Dr. Sherman was closely involved in the decision to refund the full furlough amount, and I am confident he will continue to advocate for our University employees.
At the same time, Dr. Sherman will need your support and partnership as he works with leaders across campus to address the gap between revenues and expenses projected in coming years. As we return to more normal operations in the fall with less external support, we will continue to have work to do to balance our budget.
Nonetheless, Dr. Sherman and I are not only optimistic but truly assured as we look to the future for Ohio University. And, I am confident Dr. Sherman is the right person to step into this moment as we emerge from the pandemic and continue our work to best position OHIO in a shifting higher education landscape. I am thankful for his commitment to our University and his willingness to accept this significant task, and I know you will join me in offering our support to his and our University’s success.
Even more so, I am thankful for each of you and all you do for Ohio University. Your work is transformational in the lives of our students, and I look forward to rejoining you as I transition to President Emeritus along with a Trustee Professor role and return to the work of teaching, research and service that I truly love.
M. Duane Nellis
* Rebates will only be offered to employees who were in active pay status as of May 15, 2021 and who did not separate employment voluntarily through resignation or involuntarily with cause. Further, rebates will be given on those savings amounts obtained through the cost savings furlough plan, and not obtained through the extended furlough leave program.