Administration offers buy-out to encourage faculty to leave or retire

Van Meter Hall on Jan. 13, 2021.

WKU announced the decision to offer a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program in an attempt to cut the number of faculty employed, according to an email sent by the Office of Strategy, Operations and Finance on Wednesday.

The program offers up-front compensation of a year-long salary, limited at $100,000, to eligible faculty in exchange for their resignation or retirement effective June 30.

“The intention is to allow as many eligible faculty and staff who wish to participate in the VSIP to be able to do so, resulting in a reduction of the salary base resources which comprise a significant part of the operating budget,” the email stated.

Only full-time faculty who receive Education and General funding, have been employed for over 15 years and who’s age and time of employment exceed 70 years are eligible, the email said.

Bob Skipper, director of media relations, said approximately 400 employees are currently eligible for participation in the program.

“This is an opportunity for faculty and staff who want to separate from employment [to receive compensation],” Skipper said. “At the same time, it gives us the ability to look at our employee roster and see where we can be more strategic in where we spend our payroll.”

Skipper said there is no staff reduction goal and certain measures are in place in order to prevent certain departments from losing too many employees.

“If we have a high number from one particular area, we do reserve the right [to deny eligibility] to make sure we don’t decimate an area of employees,” Skipper said.

Michael J. Collins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @mjcollinsnews.