It’s in the air.

Everywhere you go on campus faculty and staff are gossiping about it.


In a matter of weeks we have heard the idea of furloughing Missouri Southern employees called “dreadful,” but in testimony to the House Appropriations – Education committee, University President Bruce Speck said it’s an option.

“On the board are things like furloughing, even across-the-board reduction in salaries and having employees contribute to their health care premium,” Speck said.

Comments made in the past weeks have included that furloughs are prefereable to pay cuts and that furloughing has “taken on a kind of added glamour.”

As if it already wasn’t clear enough, there is nothing glamorous about forced time off with no pay.

We understand that budget issues require drastic measures. We also understand that one week off with no pay is preferable to an across-the-board pay slash.

However, people are scared. And it’s not just at the prospect of furloughs.

Other mentions include employees paying part of their insurance premiums, (provided they get benefits to begin with) and “pay reductions.”

Speck told The Carthage Press as a furlough example “for spring break, when faculty’s off, everybody’s off and you’re not going to get paid.”

We expect this is more than just an example. We hope we’re wrong.

Wendy McGrane, director of the library, said this week that she’s glad the damage her budget sustained hasn’t been worse, but rising costs and a flat budget are straining her to do more with less. She’s one of the hopefuls.

More with less is a nice way of saying work harder for less money.

Now – with furloughs on the table – staff could be looking at doing less for absolutely nothing.