Ga. college presidents may get power to furlough employees

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ATHENS, GA. -- The University System of Georgia Board of Regents plans to give college presidents the power to furlough any and all employees next year - including tenured professors - just in case.

Regents meet Tuesday in Atlanta and the agenda includes an item that authorizes presidents to furlough university employees "(s)hould the need arise."

The proposal does not mean that workers definitely will be furloughed in the fiscal year that begins July 1, just that University of Georgia President Michael Adams and other public college leaders will have the power to order furloughs as a way to save money.

The policy would include workers who work under contract, such as faculty members.

Some state agency administrators sent workers home on unpaid furloughs last year to save money as state tax revenue sagged along with the global economy.

Workers at UGA and other university system institutions avoided unpaid days, however.

Professors and other contract workers already had signed contracts for the 2008-09 academic year - contracts that did not include provisions that would allow UGA to order furloughs to cut spending.

If the regents authorize a furlough plan Tuesday, faculty contracts for the 2009-10 fiscal year will have clauses that allow administrators to put professors on furlough, however.

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