Saturday, December 2, 2023

W&M prez offers to cut her salary by 15%; advises voluntary staff furloughs, reassignments

Katherine Rowe is the College of William & Mary's first female president (WYDaily Photo/ Julia Marsigliano)
William & Mary President Katherine Rowe is asking the Board of Visitors to cut her salary by 15 percent to offset the financial burden of the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the university. (WYDaily Photo/ Julia Marsigliano)

William & Mary would offset its financial strain from the coronavirus pandemic by reducing three senior leadership’s salaries, creating a new voluntary furlough program and other budgeting measures.

That was the message the university sent to faculty and staff members in an email this week.

It was signed by W&M President Katherine Rowe, university Provost Peggy Agouris and the college’s Chief Operating Officer Amy Sebring.

“We recognize and empathize with the pressure that many working parents and others may be facing, especially as many K-12 schools in the area have announced their decisions to move at least the first nine weeks of the school year online,” according to the joint statement. “Those approved for voluntary furloughs remain W&M employees for the duration of the agreement.”

Staff can take anywhere from two to 18 weeks between Aug. 25 and Jan. 9, 2021. The deadline to submit voluntary furlough requests is Aug. 21.

Both Agouris and Sebring reduced their salaries by 12 percent and Rowe plans to ask the Board of Visitors at the Aug. 25 meeting to reduce her salary by 15 percent “through the end of this calendar year,” according to the email.

According to The Chronicle for Higher Education, Rowe last year received $671,621 total compensation — that includes her base pay of $507,273; bonus pay of $79,928, and “other pay” of $62,701.

Other cost-saving measures include reassigning 50 staff members to business operations, communications, emergency management, procurement, and student affairs as well as a hiring freeze of non-mission essential personnel, according to the announcement.

“We will develop a better understanding of our financial picture as we see how enrollments shape up for the fall and understand the outcome of the special session of the General Assembly scheduled later this month,” according to the email. “At the August 25th Board of Visitors meeting, we will share updated financial projections for the 2021 academic year, based on the best available information.”

“We do not yet know the full impact this fiscal year will bring,” the email noted. “Yet we anticipate that under every scenario we will be in a very challenging financial environment.”

The letter comes eight days before undergraduate classes start with students arriving on campus August through Labor Day weekend.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

Related Articles