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Marshall University is planning various budget cut scenarios, depending on fall enrollment, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

HUNTINGTON — It will be against the Marshall University student code of conduct to attend class without a face mask this fall.

Thursday, the Marshall Board of Governors will vote to approve Health and Safety Measures for fall 2020 compiled by the Environmental Health and Safety Department, according to the meeting agenda. The measures include requiring all students and employees to wear masks in buildings. The board will also vote to add the measure to the student code of conduct.

Other safety measures include required COVID-19 testing for all international students and all students moving into the residence halls, as well as athletes. Tests will be administered weekly to a select number of students as surveillance and tests will be administered to staff who are exhibiting symptoms.

Classrooms will be limited to 50% capacity, though residence halls will maintain current capacity. Single rooms will not be required, though single room options are being added to the First Year Residence Halls — the only residence hall without singles.

The board will vote to approve a revised student conduct policy, which will make it a violation to not wear a mask inside buildings and to not follow other safety measures like physical distancing.

Violating any of the student conduct policies can result in several escalating sanctions, starting with a written warning up to expulsion.

The board will also vote on budget reductions for the fiscal year 2021 budget as the pandemic continues to create uncertainty for the university. The reduction plan has two phases, with initiation of the second phase dependent on enrollment. The university is preparing for an up to 10% reduction in enrollment and anticipates $12 million in revenue loss.

The budget measures include reducing salaries for employees making more than $50,000, which the university already announced.

The first phase of the reduction plan will save $15 million. Along with the salary reductions, which total $1.485 million, the university has implemented a hiring freeze for all positions except critical ones approved by the president, saving up to $1.5 million.

The number of graduate assistants will be cut and student workers will be cut up to 50%. Courses will also be managed to cut low-enrollment classes and eliminate some adjunct and temporary teaching positions.

Operating budgets across campus will be cut for a savings of $2.5 million, and the university is looking to find savings in supplies and printing costs. University events, like dinners and receptions, will be cut or severely reduced. Maintenance projects will be postponed in the residence halls and other buildings.

Phase 2 will be implemented only after fall enrollment is known and estimates up to $11.7 million in reductions.

Along with the additional salary reductions, phase 2 will include furloughs for all employees with salaries $50,000 and over. These employees will be required to take the equivalent of six days unpaid leave. For each unpaid day, an employee will be granted one day of administrative leave. The furloughs will save an estimated $1.5 million.

Administrative stipends will be eliminated for almost all administrators and those not eliminated will be significantly reduced, saving $1.75 million.

Phase 2 will see additional reductions of courses to reduce instruction costs and further reduction of graduate assistants. Operational budgets campus-wide will be reduced by another collective $3 million. There will also be more reductions to housing operations and maintenance budgets.

In a separate process, the athletic department’s budget will be reduced by $3.4 million. The athletic budget was not included in the board’s agenda.

The budget reduction plan was compiled by a budget work group that includes representatives for administration, departments, faculty, staff and students. The board worked to avoid permanent job loss in the plan.

The Board of Governors will meet Thursday via Microsoft Teams. Committee meetings begin at 9 a.m. with the full board meeting beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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