UW Athletic Department announces cost-saving measures

The University of Washington Athletic has announced that it will be implementing cost-cutting measures to offset loss revenues due to the impacts of COVID-19 . Director of Athletic Jen Cohen announced the measure via a Department release.

“The department together is committed to maintaining all 22 of our programs and to providing a world-class education and athletic experience for our students,” said Jennifer Cohen, Director of Athletics. “While these decisions are difficult, this shared sacrifice model from our coaches and staff allows us to continue the momentum our student-athletes, coaches, fans and Tyee Club donors have built. We have significant challenges ahead, but we remain hopeful that our Husky family will come alongside us to support our students and teams that bring so much pride and joy to our community.”

Cost-saving measures for FY21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) include:

  • The following contribute to a 10% (approximately $5 million) total savings in staffing budget:
    • Voluntary salary reduction of all contract staff
      • Minimum 5% reduction for all head coaches (all head coaches have committed)
      • Minimum 3% reduction for all assistant coaches and for all other contract staff 
    • 2-4 week temporary furloughs for all professional, classified and union staff members (156 total staff members)
  • Current vacant positions stay open through June 30, 2021 and mid-year vacancies in non-critical positions remain vacant for a minimum of three months
  • 15% (approximately $8.5 million) total reduction in overall operating budget 

Cohen, as well as head coaches Jimmy Lake and Mike Hopkins, have committed to taking 5% salary reductions and waived all incentives for FY21. In addition, the three have each pledged a major gift to the department. 

Lake and Hopkins are each contributing $100,000 to assist ICA in funding a newly created senior-level diversity and inclusion staff position. The Associate Athletic Director position will be hired before the end of summer. Cohen’s gift of $50,000 is directed to the Competitive Edge Fund which supports medical/mental health services, academic and student-athlete development, sports performance and other programs that support the of holistic development of UW student-athletes. 

Click HERE to view a video interview with Director of Athletics, Jen Cohen.

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