Employees for schools governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents may be forced to take unpaid time off and face reduce work hours and reduced pay, according to a new board policy approved this week.
The Board of Regents, which overseas the state's two-year colleges, voted unamimously to give Chancellor Charles Manning authority to approve requests from college presidents for reduced compensation, decreased work hours and furloughs.
Officials with the Board of Regents said the policy change does not institute furloughs. The policy only makes these cost cutting measures possible as two-year college presidents work to cut 13.5 percent of their budgets and prepare for the possibility of cutting another 5 percent if the state's tax revenue continues to fall.
"None of these steps addresses longer-term budget issues, and they cannot become routine fixtures on any Board of Regent campus," said a state from the Board of Regents.
Carl Hite, president of Cleveland State said he supports and agrees with the board's decision. He said he would rather furlough employees or cut work hours that have to institute layoffs.
"We need to have flexibility in dealing with this budget crisis," said Dr. Hite.