Students walk past the Halle Library on the Eastern Michigan University campus in Ypsilanti on April 16, 2015. (Photo: Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press)
Eastern Michigan University has offered buyouts to its faculty and staff, hoping to reap savings as it looks to stabilize its budget.
The university has made a number of cuts in recent years, including to athletics. In March 2018, Eastern eliminated positions in order to make up a projected budget deficit of $4.5 million to $5.5 million for fiscal 2018. Forty-two other positions were scheduled to be eliminated and 17 layoffs were scheduled to be made.
Eastern officials would not give details about how many employees it was hoping took the buyout, or what the budget shortfall was.
Eastern, like other Michigan public universities, is in the midst of budget planning for next year.
Instead of giving financial details, the school issued a statement.
“The plan allows the university to continue to realign our workforce and provide the necessary resources to support ongoing investments in new academic programs and facilities and solidify the foundation for successful career paths for our students,” Vice President of Human Resources David Turner said.
“We are pleased that the details of the voluntary early retirement incentive plan resulted from a collaborative campuswide process involving our bargaining units, and I would like to thank them for their involvement and support.”
The buyout offer includes up to a year’s salary, payable in 60 monthly installments to a person’s retirement account. It also caps the amount being paid at $95,000 for faculty, coaches and administrators and lower amounts for other jobs, including $40,000 for clerical/secretarial workers. The university will also provide three months of benefits.
Employees have until the middle of July to decide.
Eastern, like other Michigan universities, has faced a steep decline in credit hours being taken by a falling number of students and has several steps to try to stabilize the budget and pay for upgrades, including privatizing a number of services.
In 2016, it sent its food operations to Chartwells on a 10-year contract that included a $5-million up-front payment. In February of this year, it approved a five-year extension that included $5.5 million up front.
In December 2017, it turned its parking operations over to a private company, LAZ Parking. The 35-year agreement comes with $55 million up front.
In late 2016, the university signed an agreement with Academic Partnerships to let the private company market Eastern’s online offerings. Academic Partnerships gets to keep 50% of the revenue from new students.
Read or Share this story: https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2019/05/16/eastern-michigan-university-buyouts-faculty-staff/3694401002/