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The University of South Carolina announced Tuesday a plan to implement voluntary 10 percent pay reductions for President Bob Caslen, several senior-level cabinet administrators and the university’s three highest paid coaches for fiscal year 2020-21, which will begin July 1.

The reduction is part of a cost-saving strategy to help offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university operations. The voluntary reduction is expected to save more than $1.2 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

“The global health crisis will continue to have a significant impact on the university, and I applaud our university officials and coaches for their willingness to personally contribute to our institution’s financial health,” Caslen said. “From the very beginning of the pandemic, our leadership team has responded with tremendous professionalism and a singular determination to help the university navigate through this unprecedented challenge. I thank them for their deep commitment to our students and our mission.”

Those volunteering for the reduction include head football coach Will Muschamp, head men’s basketball coach Frank Martin and head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley. University administrators include Caslen, Athletics Director Ray Tanner, and all members of the president’s cabinet.

“Working in intercollegiate athletics at the University of South Carolina is a tremendous calling for myself and our coaches and staff. I am aware of the difficulties many people in our state and nation are having because of this pandemic, including the staff and students of our great University. These shared voluntary sacrifices will help address the anticipated financial shortfalls at Carolina,” Tanner said.

The university estimates that the cost of the pandemic through August could total as much as $40 million, with more significant financial impacts in the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

Additional cost-saving measures currently underway include delaying capital construction projects; deferring non-critical maintenance; filling only mission-critical positions; eliminating university-funded travel; postponing faculty merit raises; and eliminating employee overtime. The option to allow state institutions to implement furloughs was approved by state’s General Assembly and Gov. Henry McMaster earlier this month, and the university also is developing furlough plans for consideration.

A joint committee of faculty and staff also are soliciting ideas from across the Columbia campus to identify additional efficiencies and cost reductions in order to protect UofSC’s core educational and research mission.

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