COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The University System of Maryland is weighing a number of steps, including layoffs, to address the financial impact the coronavirus has had on universities across the state.

In a news release, USM said it expects COVID-19 to lead to a decrease of at least $500 million for Fiscal Year 2021 compared to the original budget. The system also saw $230 million in losses last fiscal year due to the pandemic, which saw schools refund some room and board fees when they moved to online learning.

Due to the financial impact of the virus, the system said each university may consider steps ranging from temporary salary reductions to furloughs, hiring freezes, eliminating open positions and deferring construction and maintenance projects. Cuts will be designed to minimize impacts on students and academic programs while following union negotiation procedures.

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Each school will announce further plans “in the coming days,” the release said.

The regents’ finance committee is set to meet Thursday morning.

In June, the Board of Regents approved a tuition freeze for undergraduate and graduate students, citing the pandemic and the financial strain it has put on students and their families.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff

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