Skip to Content

Board of Trustees Approves December Bonuses

Back to News Listing


Jeremy Haefner

Letter  •

In recognition of every employee’s hard work and sacrifices since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am very happy to announce that on Friday afternoon the Board of Trustees approved senior leadership’s recommendation that benefited employees hired before July 1, 2021, who are still employed by DU in mid-December, will receive a one-time bonus this December.

The pandemic presented higher education with an incredible challenge, but DU met that challenge with resilience and creativity. And it was not easy. Many of our staff and faculty worked extra hours—and from home, simultaneously balancing professional obligations with their personal lives and the needs of loved ones. Faculty have taught across multiple modalities and stood up online courses in record time and with no advance notice. These bonuses reflect the University’s recognition and appreciation of your incredible talent and work and its instrumental role in our success.

Bonus Details:

  • Employees who worked full-time in a benefited position for all of fiscal year 2021 (July 2020 to June 2021) and are still employed by DU on December 17, will receive a bonus in the amount of $2,500 on that date. (For those who did not work at DU for the entire fiscal year, and/or are not full-time, please see further details about prorated bonuses at the bottom of this message.)
  • Due to a significant loss of auxiliary revenue and unanticipated costs related to COVID mitigation efforts, effective the beginning of fiscal year 2021, employees making over $90k annually received a temporary pay reduction during fiscal year 2021. (You may recall that employees making under $90k did not receive a pay reduction and received a cost-of-living adjustment of two percent effective April 1, 2021.) These reductions were made on a tiered scale from 3.1% to 10%, with those making the most receiving the highest reduction. Those employees will also receive in their bonus the amount of pay they did not receive during fiscal year 2021 as a result of that temporary reduction.
  • Bonuses will be issued on December 17 as a separate direct deposit or check (however you currently receive your pay). Taxes on this amount will be withheld according to IRS rules.

We are able to offer these bonuses for a number of important reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic created numerous wholly unanticipated, substantial expenses. And while our auxiliary enterprises of housing, parking, performing arts and athletic events could not continue to generate revenue during this time, our academic enterprise – teaching and research – continued strong. Specifically, our revenue from tuition was beyond the revised budget for fiscal year 2021, due to the hard work of so many to retain and serve students so well.

The pandemic also put a halt on the study abroad program, temporarily freeing up additional available funds. Finally, and most importantly, our financial forecast for the coming fiscal year is quite strong, so the University can confidently and responsibly allocate funds for these bonuses. For these reasons, we felt strongly it was time to return the sacrifices made through lost wages, and also to reward the exceptionally hard work of all members of our benefitted staff and faculty by providing a bonus recognizing those exceptional efforts. Thank you again, for all you have done and continue to do through your work, teaching and research.


Jeremy Haefner

Prorated Bonus Information

  • For part-time employees who were hired before July 1, 2021 and are still employed December 17, 2021, your bonus amount will be prorated, e.g., a 50% appointment would receive $1,250.
  • For those who only worked a portion of fiscal year 2021, your bonus amount will also be prorated for months worked during fiscal year 2021, e.g., if you started in a full-time position on January 1, 2021, you would receive 50% or $1,250. If you started on June 1, 2021, you would receive the equivalent of 1/12 of $2,500 or $208.33.
  • Faculty who started mid-year will be prorated based on their contract length, e.g., if you are in a 9-month appointment and started at the beginning of spring quarter, you would receive 1/3 of $2,500 or $833.33.