Today's Update: Tuesday, June 2

June 2, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, 

This morning, President Drake sent an update to the campus community providing important details about how dramatically the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the university’s finances and what steps Ohio State is considering and taking in response. As you know, we have already implemented a hiring pause, stopped some capital projects and taken other cost-saving measures and other actions, but we need to do more. The President’s update is timely because the university's Board of Trustees will meet (virtually) on Wednesday to discuss some options.    

There are items mentioned in the message that can be unsettling, and I want to acknowledge the feelings of anxiety or uncertainty you may be feeling. For instance, the President’s announcement said that we are pausing the annual merit compensation process as part of the 2020 performance review program. I know this may not be a complete surprise given the budget conversations that have been ongoing for several weeks, but I also understand it is disappointing. No matter what, we are still committed to your professional growth development and will get as creative as we need to offer opportunities for development. Likewise, remember that the annual review process is an important opportunity for you and your supervisor to have a dialogue about your successes and talk about ways you can be better supported to do even more Scarlet and Great things.  

If you were with us for Friday’s Student Life Zoom team meeting, in response to one of your questions, you heard our Human Resources Business Partner Shina Hayden explain that the university currently has no official policy that would govern a furlough situation. As President Drake’s message mentioned, on Wednesday the board will consider passing a rule that would allow the university to create a furlough policy. We hope never to have to use it, but it is better to be prepared and have a policy to help guide that process should it become necessary.  

I won’t go into detail about every one of the points in President Drake’s message, but I want you to know I will be completely transparent with you. This is an uncertain time, and we all need to be aware of the important decisions facing the institution. The response to the pandemic has been so difficult, and it will continue to be. Please also know the university recognizes that our staff and faculty members are our most valuable asset. While there will inevitably be shared pain, I pledge that we will do our absolute best to respect you and the role our Student Life team plays at this great institution. 

I know today’s update came very early, but I wanted to be sure I am being as responsive as possible to information and announcements so you know I am committed to ongoing dialogue and support for you. Because you are Scarlet and Great and deserve no less.

Melissa