March 26, 2021

Furman Employee Town Hall Highlights

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you to everyone who participated in the employee town hall yesterday. If you missed it or would like to watch it again, the video is available here.

I wanted to follow up with a few highlights from the meeting. First, I am happy to share that we are restoring salaries for those who received reductions, effective July 1, and do not anticipate further furloughs, in large part due to our collective careful planning and budgeting.

And, as you saw on Monday, The Duke Endowment gave our efforts a vote of confidence by investing an additional $25 million in The Furman Advantage. This will allow us to build out and bolster the various elements of our groundbreaking approach to education, which in turn strengthens Furman’s already strong position in a competitive higher education market.

However, as this money is committed to The Furman Advantage and cannot be used for other purposes, we are continuing to proceed with caution with regards to our budget and expenses.

Due to the pandemic and other factors, we have enrolled two smaller first-year classes in a row, resulting in lost tuition revenue. The pandemic has also led to lost revenues from sources including room-and-board and the hosting of public events, and it has required additional, COVID-related expenses. Therefore, we are not able to provide raises this year, and the current level of retirement contributions will remain in effect.

Our goal now is to get back to “normal” as safely and as quickly as possible, both because of the importance of a high-touch, personal education to our students as well as to avoid the financial implications of continued disruptions to our normal operations. To help facilitate this, we are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Please see this site for more information.

I know it has been a difficult year for many reasons and I am truly grateful for your diligence and all of the sacrifices you have made to help Furman navigate the financial strain of the pandemic, while ensuring that our students continue to receive an exceptional education.

Thank you, again, to our faculty who have remained flexible and dedicated to teaching our students in these most difficult circumstances, and to our staff, who have been tireless and creative in finding new ways to engage and support our students.

Warmly,

Elizabeth Davis
President