Maryland Regents OK Unpaid Leave

Higher-salaried employees will take involuntary unpaid leave to help state offset its budget deficit.

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The Maryland Board of Regents approved furloughs of up to five days for employees of the state's university system, the Baltimore Sun reports. The involuntary unpaid leave would save $16 million in salary costs in the hope of preventing the layoffs of any of the system's 22,500 full-time employees.

The furloughs are part of a statewide effort to balance its budget.

Employees of varying pay scales will be affected differently, with lower-salaried employees spared or not paid for just one or two days. The highest-salaried, such as some professors at the University of Maryland-College Park, would most likely take the full five-day cut. University presidents will also take a cut but are expected to still come into work.

"I am confident we will weather this storm and continue on our path to becoming one of the nation's great systems of higher education," said system Chancellor William E. Kirwan. "I'm confident the disruption to classes will be zero or very, very minimal."