Cutler Hall outside

Cutler Hall, home of the office of the president of Ohio University. File photo.

Ohio University last week announced it’s offering financial incentives for certain employees to retire or leave the university.

The offers of early retirement incentives and voluntary separation incentives – which OU’s Board of Trustees approved last month – come amid recent difficult conversations surrounding OU’s budget after declining enrollment in recent years.

OU is offering voluntary separation or retirement incentive packages to 608 faculty members, including most tenured professors, tenured associate professors, and administrators with the rank of tenured professor or associate professor. Meanwhile, OU is also offering an early-retirement incentive package to 66 total residential custodians.

You can read more about the benefits of each package on OU’s website at https://www.ohio.edu/news/2020/02/voluntary-separation-plans-offered-eligible-employees.

 The employees eligible for the incentive packages were notified on Wednesday, Feb. 5, and they have 45 days to decide on whether to take the package.

OU on its website explained that the development of these plans is “one of the strategic short-term measures put in place to help the university rebalance its budget” in response to decreased enrollment in recent years.

“The university is also in the process of implementing functional alignment in select administrative areas and planning additional administrative unit budget reductions,” the release reads. “Importantly, (Ohio University) is also taking proactive measures to stabilize enrollments including its new OHIO Guarantee+ program, and the continued development of new academic offerings responsive to market demand.”

Employees who elect to participate in the separation packages will have a separation date between April 30 and June 30 this year and will receive an incentive benefit of $15,000 or 100 percent of their current annual compensation, whichever is less, along with “additional funds to off-set the cost of purchasing health benefits from an external provider for employees currently enrolled in the University’s medical insurance plan,” the website reads.

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