Apparently the contracts for a professor are such that they are unable to actually cut our salaries, and we are not unionized here. So they are asking us to voluntarily furlough ourselves. The president and provost (our new provost has a very good grasp on PR) announced a month or so ago that they and other upper admin are taking some days.
I am a community-minded person; I do believe that individuals should sacrifice for the good of the community; and I think asking for furloughs is a rational first response to a budget crisis, so whether I will volunteer for a furlough is really just a matter of whether I will live up to my own principles. I probably will. I just need to sort out the numbers, and the percentage that I’m willing to give up.
BUT, I just want to point out that this is another form of the single penalty in academia. I can afford to take a pay cut because I have no mortgage and no kids.