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Reconciling COVID-19 pandemic budget deficits through furloughs and salary reductions

Minnette A. Bumpus (College of Business, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, USA)

Publication date: 27 December 2021

Issue publication date: 9 March 2022


Theoretical basis

The primary topics, in this case, align well with social processes relative to communication and decision-making, and with individual processes relative to fairness in the workplace.

Research methodology

The case was developed from secondary sources. The secondary sources included news reports, and university sources (i.e. e-mails, announcements, reports, town hall meetings). This descriptive case has been classroom tested in an undergraduate organizational behavior course.

Case overview/synopsis

On September 10, 2020, the president of Bowie State University, Dr Aminta H. Breaux, announced that the university needed to “take a number of steps, including a temporary salary reduction plan, to close the FY21 funding gap and position the university for continued budget challenges” (Exhibit 1) triggered by the economic impact of COVID-19 on the state of Maryland. Some of the faculty members’ reactions to this announcement included shock and disappointment. Reflecting on what led to the state appropriation reductions, why would faculty members be shocked by President Breaux’s announcement of temporary salary reductions? Did President Breaux make the right decision, and was it communicated appropriately?

Complexity academic level

This descriptive case is most appropriate for undergraduate level organizational behavior courses.



Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.


Bumpus, M.A. (2022), "Reconciling COVID-19 pandemic budget deficits through furloughs and salary reductions", , Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 220-238.



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