FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2003
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
EMU Regents approve employee incentive
plan for faculty members
YPSILANTI The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved
an employee incentive plan (EIP) at its June 17 meeting that will allow select
eligible faculty members to take advantage of an early retirement package while
enabling the University to realign faculty resources
with strategic initiatives.
The plan requires approval by the EMU chapter of the American Association of
University Professors (AAUP) before it could go into effect.
This plan will provide EMU with the flexibility to match academic staffing to the strategic directions of the University and to strengthen programs in areas of need and opportunity, said Paul Schollaert, provost and vice president for academic affairs for EMU.
The plan offers current full-time tenure and tenure track faculty with 19 years
or more of service with EMU the opportunity to receive $60,000, plus applicable
sick leave pay, divided into 60 monthly payments made to the participants
Post Employment 403(b) account. The benefit would begin no sooner than two months
and no later than four months after the participants elected exit date.
Exit dates are scheduled for Sept. 1, 2003, Jan. 15, 2004, or Sept. 1, 2004.
Although nearly 200 employees would be eligible, the University estimates only
84 are expected to take it, Schollaert said.
While the University undoubtedly will lose some very strong faculty to
early retirement, there are advantages to the program from the perspective of
overall faculty quality, said Schollaert. Most of those opting for
the plan are likely to retire over the next four years in any event. Given the
serious economic problems facing nearly every public university in the nation,
the market for entry level faculty should be very positive there will
be a window where we can attract good new faculty.
Schollaert said that lecturers would fill all positions left vacant by those
opting to take the plan until searches could be conducted, as per the normal
process when a faculty member retires.
Academic quality will not suffer and no jobs will be lost. This plan
simply accelerates our normal retirement number (about 21 per year) over a shorter
period of time and gives those participating some financial advantages,
Schollaert said the advantage of implementing the EIP is flexibility for the
institution to add faculty to areas of growth.
As we develop and strengthen programs that advance our strategic objectives,
we have a constant need to move personnel to areas of growth. For instance,
the development of the new doctoral program included the addition of faculty
positions in psychology. Changes in the general
education program, growth in off-campus offerings, and changes recommended in program review require examination of staffing in different departments.
Educators Preferred Corporation, located in Southfield, crafted the plan. Educators
Preferred Corporation specializes in the structuring, implementation, and administration
of early buy-out severance plans.
Other institutions with similar plans include the University of West Virginia,
Lake Michigan College, Mott Community College, Schoolcraft and Jackson Community
College. Fourteen other schools are currently considering similar plans; they
include the University of Louisville, University of Tennessee, Marshall University
and Ohio University.
Eastern Michigan University is a public comprehensive, metropolitan university
that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students
with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers
and lives, and to be better citizens.