RECAST | Update on Faculty Furlough Process, 2020-21

Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2020 1:12 PM
Subject: Update on Faculty Furlough Process, 2020-21

Dear faculty colleagues –  

I’d like to acknowledge the collective sacrifice we’re making this year to address the college budget. Together, faculty, the deans, vice-provost and the provost have volunteered and agreed to take a 10% furlough during the academic year. This is a significant step toward fiscal health, which will save the college over $1.2M this academic year. We are doing our part to ensure Evergreen has sustainable future. We are joined by our staff colleagues, who are also taking furloughs, and adapting their work as a result of unfilled positions and staff layoffs at the college.  

My sincere thanks go to the faculty and the UFE for recognizing our challenges and making some very difficult decisions. When the college and UFE negotiated this furlough, we agreed that it was important to minimize its impacts on students. We didn’t come to solutions quickly, nor without due consideration. The Reduction in Force articles of our Collective Bargaining Agreement were, unfortunately, unsuitable to the task of maintaining a coherent curriculum. We negotiated what we collectively agreed is a better way forward. 

That said, this will be a difficult year. We treasure our work, and it is hard to have less of it. We will be pained to see smaller paychecks. We may find our morale depleted.  And we must continue to work together to find good, collective solutions for ourselves and our students. 

The Provost’s office will share preliminary information with students via email sometime next week. We aim to minimize disruption to students. Your offering is one piece of a larger curricular puzzle. Students will want to know both how your offering is changing, and what new options may be in store. Please wait until we can give them the whole picture. 

Below you will find important details on the faculty furlough. If you have further questions, please contact, which has been set up to help provide accurate, coordinated answers.  

Sincerely –  

Trevor Speller 

Trevor Speller, PhD – Curriculum Dean – he/him
Library 2013 – 360-867-6063
The Evergreen State College
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW – Olympia, WA 98505



The 2020-21 faculty furlough will apply to all full-time, regular faculty on 9-month contract and 12-month contracts. It does not apply to faculty with half-time contracts. Adjunct faculty previously contracted for full-time employment will have their contracts adjusted. 

All full-time faculty affected by the furlough will see a 10% reduction in their pay beginning on September 25, 2020, and continuing throughout the academic year.  

The furlough comprises two elements: a mandatory furlough on September 14, 15, and 16 for all affected faculty; and a further furlough of either teaching or other responsibilities, depending on your work at the college.  

Faculty can explore unemployment benefit options at We have received questions about the state’s SharedWork program, which is an optional program for employers. Evergreen has applied for the state’s SharedWork program for some staff. Currently, faculty are not included in the SharedWork program: we are exploring whether this is possible. 

Further explanation of the financial impacts of the furlough will be provided in your annual salary letter. If you are unsure whether you are subject to the furlough, please contact  


Over the coming weeks, the curriculum deans will work closely with CAT leaders, Path conveners, Graduate Program and NPP Directors, and the Tacoma Dean to ensure we can maintain curricular coherence. Each of these leaders will be provided with a menu of possible options to forward to faculty, and asked to develop a furlough plan for their area. We will require written furlough plans that account for each faculty member. Those plans will be reviewed by the curriculum deans prior to approval and catalog changes. 

Faculty should work directly with CAT leaders, Graduate Program and NPP Directors, and the Tacoma Dean to develop their area’s furlough plan. Once an area’s furlough plan is complete, it will be forwarded to the curriculum deans for approval. We expect approvals to begin in the last week of September and conclude by the last week of October. We aim to complete updates to the winter academic catalog by November 15, and changes to the spring catalog by February 1.  

Furloughs affecting the undergraduate curriculum, corresponding to a 25% reduction in teaching load for one quarter, will be mainly focused in spring, when we have fewest students, though there may be furloughs in winter quarter as well. We aim to minimize disruption for students and faculty. Our graduate programs have different challenges, and their furloughs will be focused differently. 

Because of the reduction in teaching load, our students will see a more diverse mixture of 16, 12, and 4-credit offerings in fall and winter. We will need to coordinate our teaching so that students are able to have the ability to combine offerings to study full-time if they wish. For every reduction from 16 to 12 credits, for instance, we need to make sure we have 4 credits of learning so that students can continue to progress to their degrees.  

There may be significant changes to your teaching plans. Some faculty will need to reduce their program credit in a given quarter; others may need to redistribute workload; some will need to cancel their plans and teach different offerings, including 4-credit courses. You may find yourself with less choice than usual. At the same time, students may find they have more choice than usual. We trust that together we will find new, creative, and flexible ways to serve students this year.   


Directors, library faculty, CAT leaders, faculty fellows, and other faculty with administrative responsibilities will be asked to track and approve their leave through their immediate supervisors. Supervisors will be reaching out to these faculty when they come back on contract. Those faculty will need to take twenty (20) days of furlough over the course of the academic year, including the 3 furlough days in September.  

Academic deans and the vice-provost will also need to take twenty (20) days of furlough over the course of the academic year, and will track their furlough through the time and leave system. 


Those faculty who have voluntarily elected to take a leave without pay in 2020-21 will not be subject to the furlough. Leave without pay requests will continue to be considered by the deans and approved by the Provost through the regular mechanism outlined in the CBA. These requests can be sent to the curriculum deans. Faculty on sabbatical in 2020-21 will be subject to the furlough. Depending on the quarter of sabbatical and the quarter of furlough, sabbatical experience years may be credited back to the faculty member. Questions about sabbaticals and leaves without pay can be sent to  


Through the terms of the MOU, we have deferred all post-retirement contracts for 2020-21. Faculty with questions about post-retirement contracts can contact  

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