UT to stop non-essential spending and freeze staff pay amid COVID-19 pandemic

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Salary levels for all faculty and staff at the University of Texas will be frozen and the school will postpone all non-essential spending during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a lengthy update released Tuesday, UT revealed its latest position within a number of areas as the spread of COVID-19 continues.

The letter, signed by both outgoing UT president Gregory Fenves and interim president designate Jay Hartzell, addressed the university’s finances amid an unstable economy.

The pair said that remaining at current salary levels is a “financially prudent step” as the school seeks to maintain employee positions.

“We also announced new policies to review large university expenditures and that only expenditures that are essential to the core functions of the university will be considered for approval,” they added.

Additionally, all summer courses at the University of Texas will be online only.

As part of this change, the cost of undergraduate summer courses will drop to 50% of the tuition rate for fall and spring semester courses. Typically, summer courses cost 85% of the normal rate.

UT is also adding 25 summer courses that include 2,000 seats more than the usual capacity. Registration begins April 27.

During summer 2020, the school will return to its regular grading structure, as opposed to the pass/fail and credit/no credit exceptions brought in for spring 2020.

Fenves and Hartzell also thanked students who have maintained social distancing and stayed home, and highlighted UT employees’ work in preventing the spread of the virus.

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