Luther College President Jenifer K. Ward recently announced several decisions as part of the college’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the health and safety of the Luther and Decorah communities and to allow staff and faculty to prepare for the 2020-21 academic year, it was decided by Luther leadership to cancel all July camps and conferences including the Dorian Choral Retreat for adults and various athletic camps.
Luther leadership also has been faced with making decisions necessary to support the long-term financial health of the institution. While avoiding layoffs, the college will implement furloughs for staff members who are scheduled to work in June and July. The furloughs will be for one week in June and one week in July. During the furloughs, staff will retain their benefits, including healthcare insurance, and they will be able to apply for unemployment benefits and additional funding through the CARES Act. Through state and federal unemployment support, many employees could earn more on furlough than their usual weekly pay.
These are rolling furloughs to ensure Luther will remain operational throughout the summer.
The college will also be temporarily suspending institutional contributions to retirement funds through the next fiscal year. These short-term measures will significantly reduce expenses for the college.
“I do not take these decisions lightly, as they will require personal sacrifice from every member of the faculty and staff at a time when each of us will also be asked to help the college navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic,” said President Ward. “I have faith in this community and our collective mission in the face of these sacrifices and challenges. We can and will weather this storm. But first we have to go through it.”