Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Early retirement helps with Southeast’s budget cuts

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Southeast has taken steps to recover from budget cuts Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced in January.

One step taken in August of this year was offering early retirement to some faculty and staff at Southeast.

“It is an opportunity to reduce our personnel cost, but to do it through vacancy,” vice president for Finance and Administration at Southeast Kathy Mangels said during an interview in August.

The program started Aug. 15 and ended Oct. 13, with 197 members of the staff and faculty able to apply.

There were 78 members of the faculty and staff whose applications were accepted, Mangels said. The applications were reviewed and accepted by Southeast president Carlos Vargas, who has the final say over all applications, according to Mangels.

Members of the faculty and staff accepting the early retirement opportunity are receiving 35 percent of their base salary, which totals $1.7 million for the University to pay out, including taxes, Mangels said.

A faculty or staff member’s base salary does not include additional tasks like teaching summer courses.

According to Mangels, the members who are taking the early retirement have two options for payout: one lump sum or two payments.

Before starting the program there was a goal of 25 percent participation of the 197 staff and faculty members who were eligible. A total of 39.5 percent who were eligible to apply were accepted into the program.

“We not only met our estimate but actually exceeded it,” Mangels said.

Mangels is unable to say how much this program will save the university in the short term. She said the saving benefits will be more long term.

This program helps save money by letting departments take a closer look at jobs and openings. Also, if a new faculty or staff member is hired, they will start at a lower salary than those who are retiring and have worked at the University for years.

Southeast staff and faculty had a few options for retirement dates, Mangels said.

“It does really stagger it out and helps departments who may have more than one individual deal with the transition,” Mangels said.

There are no plans as of now to repeat the program in the near future, according to Mangels.