The 5-day mandatory furlough announced last week will cause hardship to many Clemson families, some more than others. Many of you contacted me to suggest that we create a fund to help those who will need it most.
This is not a surprising reaction from the Clemson family. Particularly at this time of year -- in this time of economic uncertainty -- many of us are reflecting this week on how thankful we are to be at Clemson University.
Today we announce the establishment of the One Clemson Furlough Relief Fund to accept donations from those who want to help their friends and co-workers. Marcia and I will make the first donation.
Anyone may donate to the fund, and any permanent, full-time employee may apply for assistance from it. I’ve directed that priority be given, however, to those applicants at the lowest end of the pay scale. We know that we have some Clemson employees whose total household income falls at or below the poverty line. We have single parents who are trying to raise a family on $25,000 or less. They were already struggling in this economy before the furlough was even announced.
Three of Clemson’s best have volunteered to help the effort and are donating their time to serve as fund managers. Dick Simmons, retired director of human resources, Cecil Huey, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, and Holley Ulbrich, professor emeritus of economics, will review applications and authorize distribution to those in greatest need.
A special web site for the One Clemson Furlough Relief Fund is being set up. It will have detailed information on how to make a donation and on how to apply for assistance from the fund. The deadline for applications will be December 15, and tax-deductible contributions may be made through December 31, 2008.
Please recognize that our ability to help will be limited only by our ability to collect private support. The number of people to receive aid and the amount they receive will be determined by the balance in the fund.
Marcia and I are proud to make the first gift to the One Clemson Furlough Relief Fund, and I know many of you will want to do the same.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and willingness to help.