From AP - News Headlines -

More than 600 UI Employees Slated for Early Separation or Retirement

Offers of buyouts are going out to more than 640 University of Illinois employees.

The Urbana campus began offering its voluntary separation packages over the winter to academic professional employees, with faculty being offered early retirement. This week employees who applied are finding out if their offers have been accepted - they'll be given contracts to sign within 30 days, and they'd leave their jobs by August. In exchange, they'd get 6 months' salary as an incentive.

U of I spokeswoman Robin Kaler says of the nearly 800 applicants, about 3/4 have been given the option to leave. "The goal of the program was to identify as many people as possible who were interested in retiring or separating from the university, willing to do that, and being able to reorganize, restructure in those given departments, to streamline a little bit," Kaler said.

Kaler says 483 academic professional employees have been approved to take buyouts if they want them. "Of those 483 that were approved, 211 of those positions will be refilled but at lower salaries. 272 of those positions will be eliminated."

Another 153 faculty members have been approved for early retirement, with 75 of those positions eliminated.

Kaler says if all employees leave as expected, the program will save the U of I about $25 million a year. She says the announcement was delayed by about a month because of the high number of applicants.

Categories: Economics, Education, Politics