University of Kentucky to use contingency fund to save jobs

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The University of Kentucky will use portions of its contingency fund to save nearly 100 school jobs in the next fiscal year amid continuing furloughs at the school, the university’s president said in a news release.

The announcement comes as 100 additional academic employees were furloughed Friday, about a month after the university furloughed nearly 1,700 academic and UK HealthCare employees due to revenue shortfalls related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Many of the 700 furloughed healthcare workers have returned to work as the number of patients going to the hospital system has increased, the news release said.

The money in the contingency fund largely came from savings the school made after it cut back on employee’s retirement funds, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. According to the news outlet, school officials continue to predict a $70 million shortfall for the budget beginning this July, largely because of a drop in enrollment.

Graduate students who work at the university will not lose their jobs because of budget cuts, according to the release. The school will also portion off $250,000 from the student emergency fund specifically for graduate students.

UK HealthCare expects a $131 million shortfall for the current fiscal year and the one starting in July, officials said this month.