Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2012

KU offering buyouts to 540 faculty, staff members on Lawrence, Edwards campuses

April 17, 2012

Advertisement

Kansas University is offering buyouts to 540 of its more than 4,800 faculty and staff members on its Lawrence campus and Edwards campus in Overland Park.

In an email to the KU community on Monday afternoon, Provost Jeff Vitter outlined the voluntary separation program, which is open to 11.25 percent of employees.

Those who are approved for the program would receive a lump sum cash payment equal to one year’s base salary, up to a maximum of $100,000.

“The (program) is intended to prioritize our funding towards investment in the goals and strategies identified by the KU community in Bold Aspirations, our strategic plan,” Vitter said in the email.

Faculty, unclassified staff and university support staff are eligible for the buyout, provided they meet certain criteria.

Generally, employees would qualify if they were 62 years old or older at the time of their separation and had at least 10 years of service working for a Kansas Board of Regents institution or at the Kansas Board of Regents office, said Gavin Young, a spokesman for the provost’s office.

Instead of being 62 years old or older, employees also could qualify if they had 85 points under the KPERS retirement plan. Employees earn one point for every year of service and one point for each year of age.

Eligible employees must apply for approval. Young said the intent is to allow as many faculty and staff to participate as possible.

“Each application will be granted based on whether there’s a benefit to the university,” Young said.

The program was not established with a specific amount of savings in mind, he said.

Chris Crandall, professor of social psychology who is serving as president-elect of KU’s University Senate this year, said that from a university governance perspective, he’d rather see “carrots” — incentives for people to leave — than “sticks.”

“This looks like it’s all carrot, and they were trying to find people in those areas that the strategic plan didn’t see as a future strength,” Crandall said.

Administrators have few options to trim the size of tenured faculty members, he said.

He said some employees may balk at retiring while having to provide their own health insurance, Crandall said, before Medicare kicks in at age 65.

Employees can apply for the program through May 15, and must leave the university between July 24 and Dec. 31 to qualify.

A complete set of guidelines is available online at hr.ku.edu/vsip.

Comments

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 12 months ago

This is a great deal for people whose careers are waning and are near retirement anyway.

It is also good for KU, because many rankings determine faculty productivity per capita, including American Association of Universities rankings.

Thus, an unproductive faculty member actually hurts KU's reputation and ranking.

This is a win-win for everyone involved.

While staff are included, this is definitely meant for waning faculty nearing retirement age.

0

Stain 1 year, 12 months ago

I am actually shocked at this transparent attempt to move older workers off the payroll. What kind of a message does it send to employees?

Why are they targeting employees nearing retirement age?

I'm certain there are redundent positions or unnecessary positions (or poor performs) at all ages.

0

verity 2 years ago

You can continue on the state health insurance plan after retirement---of course you have to pay the whole premium, but it's a lot less expensive than buying it on your own. As long as you stay on the plan you can keep it indefinitely, not like COBRA, which is limited.

I will warn you though, because HR may not make this clear. HR is apparently required by law to turn your name in to COBRA. COBRA will contact you and try to get you to go with them even though you have signed up for continuing the state insurance. They do not tell you that their policy has nothing to do with the state. Do not mistake them for the state which is the Kansas Health Policy Authority---KHPA.

0

guppypunkhead 2 years ago

It's easy, people. It's age plus years worked @ a KPERS job.

0

OutlawJHawk 2 years ago

I know at least one person that qualified for this and was laid off shortly before this was offered. Dirty, rotten people and you know who you are. And I know several people who retired recently before this was offered...I feel for them too.

0

Adrienne Sanders 2 years ago

Regarding KPERS "points": you get two points for each year of service, not one.

From the KPERS website: "You can retire at any age, with full benefits, when you have 85 points. The 85 point rule is when your age and years of service credit added together equal 85. Every year you work, you will gain two points - one for each birthday and one for the year of service credit." http://www.kpers.org/retirewhenkpers.htm

0

Kookamooka 2 years ago

I always wonder about how a group gets group health insurance. Could the university or another type of "group" sort of shelter these people who choose the buy out until medicare kicks in?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.