Thursday, March 11, 2010

University of Minnesota Financial Wizards Overlook $41 Million Calendar Problem

(And these are the people who want to save $10 Million
by furloughing employees?)

From MPR:

...employees at the University of Minnesota will receive an extra pay check in the next fiscal year, and it could cost the university upward of $41 million.
It's a phenomenon that pops up in the payroll calendar every 11 years for organizations that pay bi-weekly, and the U's chief financial officer Richard Pfutzenreuter admits they knew it was coming.
"I'm surprised it hasn't been on people's radar here," Pfutzenreuter said. "We've talked about it on numerous occasions over the last couple of years, but we're a complicated place and I think the communication isn't always as good as it could be. We knew it was coming."

[And so, ah, why didn't you do something about it?]

Pfutzenreuter said the cost comes just as the U faces declining funding from the state.

"It is unfortunate that it hit exactly now," he said. "If I could somehow alter the calendar and push this problem out I would."

[Unfortunate is the understatement of the year, Pfutz. And no, you can't do a TeaPaw on this problem. ]

At this point the U plans to pay employees that 27th check, at least that's what the university's general counsel has recommended. University officials say they're still exploring their options.

[Given Rotenberg's record on a lot of things, the Morrill Hall Gang might want to get some outside advice on this.]

And with an eye to the future, U leaders are already planning how to pay for the extra check in the year 2021, so they're not caught off guard by a quirk in the calendar in another 11 years.

[This would be funny, if it weren't so pitiful and the consequences so serious. I hope our next CFO can both count to 27 and knows what to do about it.]

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