Ohio University

Voluntary separation plans offered to eligible employees

Published: February 5, 2020 Author: Staff reports

On January 16, we shared with our University Community that the Ohio University Board of Trustees considered a resolution authorizing President Nellis, or his designee, in consultation with the Chair of the Board of Trustees, to develop an early retirement incentive plan and/or a voluntary separation plan for eligible tenured professors, tenured associate professors, and administrative staff who hold the academic rank of tenured professor or tenured associate professor. In addition, the resolution authorized the development of a similar voluntary program for residential custodial and custodial staff within the Vice President for Finance and Administration and Vice President for Student Affairs Planning Units for all University campuses. The Board of Trustees passed the resolution January 17.

Leadership in academic affairs, legal affairs and human resources have worked closely with President Nellis over the last two weeks to define the details of the Voluntary Separation or Retirement Program and the Early Retirement Incentive Program. Today, Wednesday, Feb. 5, all eligible employees were notified via email of the program details and given 45 days to inform the University of their election decision. 

A Voluntary Separation or Retirement Program is available to 608 faculty members including most tenured professors, tenured associate professors, and administrators with the rank of tenured professor or associate professor in all Athens campus academic colleges and all regional locations, with the exception of faculty and administrators in the Heritage College of Medicine. In addition to HCOM faculty, any employee who is visiting, temporary, on-call, under special contract, participated in a previous voluntary separation or early retirement incentive program, and faculty early retirees, are ineligible.

Eligible faculty who elect to participate will separate from the University effective May 31 and will receive one year of their current base salary paid in four equal installments over an 18-month period as well as a one-time payment to off-set the cost of healthcare benefits if the employee is currently enrolled in the university’s medical insurance plan.

An Early Retirement Incentive Program is available to AFSCME residential custodians and custodians who are eligible to retire per university policy. This includes 66 employees. Employees who elect to participate will have a separation date between April 30 and June 30, 2020 and will receive an incentive benefit of $15,000 or 100% of their FY20 annual compensation, whichever is lesser, along with additional funds to off-set the cost of purchasing health benefits from an external provider for employees currently enrolled in the University’s medical insurance plan. 

The development of these plans is one of the strategic short-term measures put in place to help the University rebalance its budget in response to decreased enrollments. The University is also in the process of implementing functional alignment in select administrative areas and planning additional administrative unit budget reductions. Importantly, OHIO is also taking proactive measures to stabilize enrollments including its new OHIO Guarantee+ program, and the continued development of new academic offerings responsive to market demand.

More information about the voluntary separation plans can be found at https://www.ohio.edu/hr.