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May 21 Chancellor Briefing: CARES funds distributed, summer planning begins

In his final faculty and staff live briefing of the semester, Chancellor Jim Schmidt shared that nearly 3,000 Blugolds received emergency funds from the university’s share of the federal CARES Act thanks to the quick work of staff in Blugold Central. The chancellor provided updates on plans to reopen the campus for small admissions tours in June. The briefing also reviewed the 2020-21 budget planning scenario and provided additional detail about the size of operating budget cuts each division is planning to implement.

Here are the key points from this week’s briefing:

  • Campus admissions tours will resume June 1 with physical distancing and safety practices in place for groups of 10 or fewer visitors. The summer orientation program will be held online for new students. Enrollment and retention at UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire – Barron County remain strong.
  • In only three weeks, Blugold Central disbursed all $3.5 million in federal CARES Act relief funds to 2,877 Blugolds impacted by the pandemic. These funds, and emergency relief provided through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, have helped thousands of Blugolds better navigate unexpected financial situations as they completed their semester virtually.
  • UW-Eau Claire has 231 total furloughed employees now that 13 areas, including Academic Affairs, have implemented continuous furloughs for portions of their staff to meet the 5% state budget lapse of $2.5 million for this fiscal year. Chancellor Schmidt also named members of the Fall Planning Team’s four work groups, which include shared governance representatives, who will plan for multiple contingencies to safely deliver instruction as more information about the coronavirus pandemic becomes known.
  • Risk Management and Safety is developing guidelines in coordination with local health officials to address ways to return faculty and staff safely to the campus. 

For additional information, UW-Eau Claire students and employees can visit the “Chancellor COVID-19 Briefings” page on the Chancellor’s Office Blugold Insider site and public resources are available at Summer briefings will take place Thursdays at 5 p.m. on the following dates: June 11 and 25, July 9 and 23, and Aug. 6.