FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The University of Kentucky announced plans Tuesday to lay off and furlough some employees in response to a projected $70 million budget shortfall in the coming year caused by the coronavirus.

The cutbacks at the state's flagship university in Lexington also include reducing retirement contributions to employees and not providing merit pay raises.

Most of the university's revenues are expected to decline, many significantly, UK President Eli Capilouto said in an email. UK is bracing for declining revenue from enrollment and short-term investments. Capilouto called it the most daunting challenges faced by UK in decades.

“Many of these decisions will cause pain. They will require shared sacrifice,” Capilouto said in the campus message. “But they are necessary, if we are to meet our financial obligations, honor our principles of education, research, service and health care and lay a foundation for the future.”

Furloughs will apply to employees in units where work has ceased or been reduced significantly, the university said. Some staff members will be laid off. The university didn't say how many employees would be furloughed or laid off.

The University of Louisville also announced more cost-cutting steps Tuesday, including pausing its retirement contributions for employees, due to economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak, media outlets reported.

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