The president of the University of Northern Iowa says it’ll be nearly impossible for the three state-supported universities to implement unpaid worker furloughs. The furloughs, as well as a one-percent across-the-board budget cut for the next four months, are part of the Republican plan to plug holes in the current year’s state budget. U-N-I president Robert Koob was at the statehouse today, meeting with lawmakers. Koob says not all university employees get their pay from the state, so not all employees will be treated uniformly if just the state-paid workers are forced to take unpaid furloughs. For example, cafeteria workers in the dorms will not have to take a furlough, as they’re paid by student tuition, while many professors will.Koob says the furloughs for professors create grave problems in ensuring classes are completed for the spring semester.Koob wants legislators to give the universities more flexibility so they can eliminate positions or programs rather than enforce furloughs.
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