FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2003
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
EMU faculty union agrees on early
YPSILANTI The Eastern Michigan University chapter of the American
Association of University Professors (AAUP) has entered into a memorandum of
understanding related to the employee incentive plan (EIP), approved by the
Board of Regents at its June 17 meeting.
A memorandum of understanding establishes an addendum to the existing contract
and does not require a vote by union membership.
We have already had inquiries into the plan, said Dr. Paul Schollaert,
provost and vice president for academic affairs at EMU. Informational
meetings will be forthcoming.
The EIP 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.
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 Schollaert.
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
Colleges. 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.