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The exterior of Cutler Hall, located on College Green, which houses the offices of the president, the provost and other senior administrative officers. (Kaitlin Owens / File)

OU announces new separation and early retirement programs

Clarification appended.

Ohio University announced two voluntary separation and early retirement plans on Wednesday that makes 674 employees eligible for an early retirement or separation.

OU is doing this for “operational and budgetary purposes,” according to a university document.

The first program, the Voluntary Separation or Retirement Program, is available to 608 faculty members who are tenured professors, tenured associate professors and administrative staff who are ranked as tenured professors or tenured associate professors, according to the news release.

The 608 faculty members are in all colleges at the Athens campus and regional campuses, except the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, or HCOM.

The VSRP program has been offered for consideration to all tenured professors and tenured associate professors, Carly Leatherwood, university spokeswoman, said. 

Employees who are not eligible are visiting, temporary, on-call, under special contracts, early faculty retirees and people who have participated in a previous voluntary separation or early retirement incentive program.

People who choose to participate in the program will leave OU on May 31 and will get one year of their current base salary. It will be paid over four times over an 18-month period: in July, December, July 2021 and December 2021.

There will also be a one-time payment of $20,000 for healthcare if the employee is currently enrolled in the university’s medical insurance plan, according to OU’s website. That payment will be made in July. 

People who have 10 or more years of work with OU will also receive the retirement sick leave payout in the June 15 pay period.

In order to be eligible for the retirement program, employees who are 60 years old or older need to have worked at OU for five years. If the employee is between 55 and 60 years old, they need twenty-five years of experience. If the employee has 30 or more years working at OU, they are eligible, according to university policy.

Employees have to declare their intention to participate in the program by 5 p.m. on March 20.

The second program, the Early Retirement Incentive Program is available to AFSCME residential custodians, who are custodians in the union. It is also available to custodians who are eligible to retire.

There are 66 employees who are eligible for the program.

Employees who decide to participate in the program will leave the university between April 30 and June 30. They will receive either $15,000 or 100% of their annual salary for the 2020 fiscal year, whichever is the smaller amount.

There will also be additional funds to offset health benefits for employees who are enrolled in OU’s medical insurance plan.

OU President Duane Nellis worked with people in academic affairs, legal affairs and human resources to develop the Voluntary Separation or Retirement Program and the Early Retirement Incentive Program, according to an OU news release.

OU is also in the process of starting an alignment project for administrative areas.

The Board of Trustees authorized Nellis to develop this early retirement incentive or voluntary separation program at its January meeting.

@ianmck9

im581017@ohio.edu

Clarification: The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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