Furloughs, layoffs likely coming at University of Texas

The University of Texas is likely facing layoffs and furloughs due to declines in expected future revenue. (Community Impact Staff)
The University of Texas is likely facing layoffs and furloughs due to declines in expected future revenue. (Community Impact Staff)

The University of Texas is likely facing layoffs and furloughs due to declines in expected future revenue. (Community Impact Staff)

In a May 19 letter addressed to University of Texas faculty and staff, UT President Gregory Fenves and interim president designate Jay Hartzell said declines in expected future revenue will likely lead to furloughs and “permanent reductions in force” in some university departments.

The letter says that “revenue-generating units” will be facing the layoffs and furloughs—or departments that fund their operations through service charges, fees and memberships that have dried up since classes stopped being held on campus.

In addition, UT will no longer offer emergency leave to employees without work, according to the letter. Previously, the university had extended emergency leave to employees who were affected by the pandemic, but according to the letter, UT “cannot extend this leave indefinitely without having a significant financial impact.”

In April, UT announced it would not fund salary merit raises for 2020-21, and any non-salary expenditures exceeding $100,000 would have to be preapproved.

“The University of Texas has been through hard times before, and we’ve always come through them with a strengthened sense of purpose and a dedication to our world-changing mission.” Fenves and Hartzell wrote in the letter. “We have no doubt that this will be the case with COVID-19, and we thank you for your understanding and commitment.”

Fenves will step down as university president June 30 to become the president at Emory University in Atlanta. Hartzell, who was previously the dean of the McCombs School of Business, was named interim president April 8.


Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County adds 571 COVID-19 cases; new restriction put in place ahead of holiday weekend

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

A photo of a person wearing a medical mask
Travis County Judge supports state masking order, says county will enforce

After Gov. Greg Abbot's statewise mandate to wear masks that cover mouth and nose, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe voiced his support.

A statue of Willie Nelson sits in front of ACL Live at the Moody Theater at the corner of Lavaca and Second streets.
Austin police will no longer arrest for low-level marijuana possession

Austin police will no longer arrest or issue citations for most marijuana possession offenses under 4 ounces.

Be More Pacific owners Giovan Cuchapin and Mark Pascual will keep their Houston location open but have no plans to reopen in Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Business closings in Central Austin: Be More Pacific, Daruma Ramen, Troublemaker will not reopen doors

The Central Austin restaurants all recently announced their permanent closures, as did another Red River music venue and a North Central Austin gym.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

Whole Foods Market opened in the Plaza Saltillo development on June 29. (Courtesy Endeavor)
Whole Foods opens Plaza Saltillo location

Additional businesses including Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ and Poke Austin are set to open in the East Austin development this summer.

Man looking at plants in a greenhouse garden store
Garden Seventeen opens its doors in North Central Austin

The new greenhouse and garden store comes from Native Edge Landscape owner Rodney Stoutenger.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

Try Hard Coffee shop
Try Hard Coffee now open in East Austin

The new spot is serving coffee, pastries and tacos on its outdoor patio as construction work continues inside.

In the course of a month, the number of patients admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 has increased more than fivefold, according to Austin Public Health data. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Deluge of new COVID-19 cases forces Austin-area health officials to limit testing, shift tracing strategy

Fighting antiquated fax machines and a sharp rise in the demand for testing, officials said contact tracers are not able to get in touch with residents quickly enough to prevent the spread of the virus.

CommunityCare Health Centers drive-up coronavirus testing site
CommUnityCare will no longer test asymptomatic people for COVID-19 as testing demand swells

CommUnityCare Health Centers is now only testing individuals who show symptoms, those who have a known exposure to the coronavirus or those with other existing health conditions.