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A Letter from President

April 1, 2010

To University staff and faculty in Charlottesville:

As you may recall, in September when then-Governor Kaine announced his plans to address the state's growing budget shortfall, he included a mandatory one-day furlough for all state employees.

A statewide furlough day -- or eight hours of unpaid leave -- was included in the final budget approved by the General Assembly.

Many of you expressed concern about the impact of losing a day's salary. During these difficult economic times, we understand that the loss of even one day's pay is difficult for individuals and families.

In the end, the General Assembly allowed institutions of higher education to forgo the furlough day as long as equivalent dollars are sent back to the state. In other words, the state is allowing us to buy the day back for our employees.

The University, along with many of the state's public colleges and universities, has decided to do just that -- at a cost of $1.328 million for the academic division and $950,000 for the Medical Center.

The bottom line is that University of Virginia employees will not lose a day's pay and there will be no change to the University's schedule.

I asked Leonard Sandridge and his team to find the best way to finance this decision. The Medical Center will be fully responsible for funding its portion of the reversion back to the state. The Academic Division will largely tap into an annual emergency reserve for special one-time situations.

We decided that while there were many ways to allocate these funds, there was no higher purpose than an investment in our people.

Throughout the global financial crisis and numerous state budget cuts, we have put the well being of our employees first, preserving jobs and avoiding layoffs. And while we did not make this recent decision lightly, we believe that it is in the best interest of those who serve the institution and the individuals we serve.

I am grateful for your unfailing service and commitment to this place. As I have reflected on my 20 years as president, I am constantly reminded of the people in our University community who come here every day and work to make the University a welcoming and vibrant environment for our students and our patients, as well as for the those who visit the Grounds from around the world.

John Casteen