Leaders at Wichita State University are preparing to furlough some employees next week if necessary.
President John Bardo posted a message to the campus Wednesday morning and a second in the afternoon telling employees he will begin notifying them by noon Friday whether they are being furloughed.
Summer school is already in session at WSU, with 5,000 students taking up to 700 courses, said Lou Heldman, vice president for strategic communications at WSU. No matter what happens, all summer classes will continue, he said.
State officials have said the Kansas Legislature, in trying to finalize funding for a budget, has until midnight Saturday to get that job done before furloughs will begin. But Bardo explained that he needs to make decisions a day and a half earlier about who stays on the job and who stays home.
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The Legislature’s 2015 session has run longer than usual, he wrote. The House advanced a new budget Wednesday, but not the funding necessary to pay salaries and other bills.
“I’m cautiously optimistic the Legislature will resolve the issue this week. If that happens, we’ll reopen Monday, June 8, as usual,” Bardo wrote.
“But we also need to plan for the possibility of furloughs if there’s no state authorization to pay employees beginning Sunday, June 7.”
All state agencies and their employees are facing the same issue, he said.
Chief financial officers at all the state’s public universities met in conference calls on Wednesday to work out what might have to be done, Heldman said. They worked out general plans about what categories of employees might need to be furloughed and which workers were essential to “critical” operations.