FACULTY OFFERED EARLY RETIREMENT PLANS AS PART OF BUDGET CUTS
As part of its strategy to deal with state-mandated budget cuts over the next two years, Old Dominion is offering two retirement options to faculty.
In a letter that went to full-time faculty Feb. 4, President Roseann Runte outlined two retirement options and invited interested faculty to apply by Feb. 22.
The first option is an Early Retirement Incentive Program available to tenured faculty 55 or older (on the date of retirement) who have at least 10 years of full-time service at Old Dominion.
Faculty who meet these and other criteria and who are approved for the program would retire effective June 1 of this year in return for a retirement incentive of up to 50 percent of the individual's current base salary.
"I realize that a major life decision such as retirement cannot be made without a thorough evaluation," Runte said in her letter. "Faculty whose applications for the Early Retirement Incentive Program are approved will be notified soon after the application deadline. They will then have five weeks from the date of the notification to sign the retirement contract with the university."
The second option - retirement with a part-time teaching contract of up to either two or three years - is open to full-time faculty with no specific eligibility criteria related to age, tenure status, length of service or location of the position.
"The advantages of these part-time employment options are that individuals will have the time to continue their research and provide service to the university," Runte said in her letter. "They can maintain contact with the university and their colleagues while maintaining the privileges of a faculty member. The payments received under these part-time contracts would not affect the retirement payments to which the faculty member would be entitled.
"Additional advantages of this arrangement to the university are that we will continue to benefit from the services, talents and expertise of experienced faculty while reducing overall expenditures by appointing junior faculty replacements."
For its part in helping overcome statewide deficits of $1 billion a year, Old Dominion is faced with a 3 percent budget reduction for the remainder of the current fiscal year, amounting to nearly $2.6 million. This will also require a base budget reduction of 7 percent for the next fiscal year and an additional 1 percent (8 percent, cumulatively) the following fiscal year, according to Robert L. Fenning, vice president for administration and finance.
In order to address the 3 percent reduction for the remainder of 2001-02, the university will freeze certain open positions and defer some presidential initiatives which would have been funded with tuition and fee revenue generated by enrollment increases, Fenning said. Other measures include cutting back on travel and postage, as well as limiting the purchase of equipment and supplies.
Runte recently announced that she has suspended the provost search, but noted that the search process could be restarted later in the year. David R. Hager has been serving as acting provost and vice president for academic affairs since former Provost Jo Ann Gora left the university last summer to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
This article was posted on: February 11, 2002
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