UW Oshkosh offers early retirement incentives to faculty to help cut budget

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UW Oshkosh is looking ahead to next fall.

The school’s chancellor said this year they fell slightly behind their standard budget and if something isn’t done soon, they’ll spend more money than they bring in.

According to data published by UW Madison, enrollment at UW Oshkosh’s main four-year campus decreased by 484 students this year.

“We need to work on really focusing in on how best to recruit and retain and have students persist through graduation,” says chancellor Andrew Leavitt. “Those are the kinds of things we need to work on.”

Now the college is proposing a Voluntary Retirement Incentive Option Program that offers employees 50 percent of their base salary if they choose to retire between July 1 and August 20 of 2020.

“This is meant for people who are quite frankly already thinking about retirement, they just don’t know the timing yet,” says Leavitt. “This will help give them a little bit of an incentive to go a little earlier than maybe they had planned.”

About 300 employees currently qualify for the program, but they only need 70 to 90 faculty or staff to retire to help lower the budget.

This, coupled with attempting to recruit a different type of pupil like adult students, would help close those budget gaps.

“It’s only prudent that we plan for an additional decrease in the number of students and then we’re working as hard as we can to make sure that doesn’t happen,” says Leavitt. “We need to plan now for what could happen next year.”

Chancellor Leavitt says eligible employees must express interest in the program by January 15, but they do not have to officially sign up for the program until April 1.

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