This Friday, the first of the six furlough days mandated by the Board of Reagents will take place in Athens. Friday was chosen as the first furlough day because there were no classes being held on that day, as it is Fall Break for the university. With a large number of students and some faculty and staff taking off to attend the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville, FL, this was considered a prime opportunity to schedule a furlough day without interfering with teaching schedules.
Because all full-time staff is furloughed, there will be some changes from past years Fall Break. The Campus Transit system will not be running intercession buses on that Friday, and the university's libraries will also be closed this year. Most departments on campus will be completely shut down, with the exception of some of the research facilities, football support staff, IT, and UGA Police. All of the people working in these departments will still have to take six furlough days this school year, however, they will be taking them at different times so that there is coverage in these areas during the day.
The six furlough days spread throughout the school year will simulate the effects of a three percent pay cut for everyone. When the furlough dates were first announced, University President Mike Adams was asked if he would take twelve furlough days instead of six to match the other university presidents in Georgia. President Adams declined to take the extra days, which lead some to feel that he was not helping enough to cut back on expenditures, mainly due to the difference in his pay and that of many of the lower income employees.
Regardless of the bite that being furloughed will put into each employee's check, they were spaced at such times and intervals that they occur only once a month, which lessens the impact of the pay reduction. And as each occurred before a holiday weekend, they actually allow much of the faculty and staff more time off at a time when it is harder to take off additional time. By far the biggest emotion regarding the furloughs is a quasi-relief; though it is less money, there were no layoffs and every single employee's position is secure for this school year.