LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Kentucky has announced plans to furlough 1,700 workers.

According to a news release distributed on Thursday afternoon, the move to "low operational activity / administrative no-pay status" for the employees is just the "first phase" to address significant budget challenges for both the school and UK Healthcare.

UK President Eli Capilouto says 1,500 of those furloughed are full- or part-time employees who work at UK Healthcare. Their furlough will begin on April 26. The remaining 200 furloughed employees come from UK's dental clinics, dining and transportation services, and the Hilary J. Boone Center, a dining and events facility which is now closed.

Additional furloughs may be announced in upcoming weeks, Capilouto said.

"Our hope is to have those impacted community members rejoin our work as soon as possible," Capilouto said, in a statement. "We are making these decisions -- and others like them, if we have to -- thoughtfully and compassionately, as we seek to protect the institution and its capacity to serve for the long term. We will communicate with all those impacted -- and our entire community -- transparently at each step of the way."

Some UK Healthcare employees may only be furloughed for a week, while others may be furloughed for up to 10 weeks, through July 4, according to the news release. 

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