- Associated Press - Saturday, December 20, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri’s flagship campus says a buyout offer will free up about $17 million in budgeted salaries and benefits.

More than 42 percent of eligible faculty members, or 110 people, were approved for the buyout, the Columbia Missourian (https://bit.ly/13nnMeG ) reports. The majority won’t retire until August.

To qualify, faculty had to be retirement-eligible and turn 62 by Aug, 31, 2015. They were eligible for a one-time payment of 1 1/2 times their base salary, not to exceed $200,000.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said some rehires would take place, but the number has not been finalized.

Faculty Council chairman Craig Roberts said the program may have exceeded expectations of administrators, who he said had guessed 60 or 70 professors would take the buyout. More retirements give the university extra funds for new hires and budget redistribution.

“It’s slightly better news, I might say,” Roberts said.

Forty-three Arts and Science faculty members accepted the buyout, along with 15 from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, 14 from the College of Education and 11 from the School of Medicine.

The Trulaske College of Business, School of Journalism, Sinclair School of Nursing, College of Human Environmental Sciences, School of Law, College of Veterinary Medicine and the Office of Graduate Studies each had fewer than 10 faculty members accept the buyout.

College of Arts and Science Dean Michael O’Brien will meet with department chairs in early 2015 to discuss vacancies, noting some retiring faculty could be hired back part-time.

Roberts said he expects the university to make new hires that will allow retiring professors’ largest and most popular classes to continue.

“I’m pretty confident that the administration will shore up clear deficiencies in the curriculum,” Roberts said.


Information from: Columbia Missourian, https://www.columbiamissourian.com

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