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Faculty offered new retirement option

September 16, 2003

Austin Peay faculty who are near retirement now have a new option: They can teach 12 hours per academic year for up to four years for 40 percent of their regular pay. Previously, they could teach no more than six hours per academic year for up to two years at 20 percent of their salary.

The offer is conditional. Individuals accepting the offer must retire no later than May 30, 2004, and they must teach at least two courses during the fall semester on main campus each year of the agreement.
September 16, 2003

Austin Peay faculty who are near retirement now have a new option: They can teach 12 hours per academic year for up to four years for 40 percent of their regular pay. Previously, they could teach no more than six hours per academic year for up to two years at 20 percent of their salary.

The offer is conditional. Individuals accepting the offer must retire no later than May 30, 2004, and they must teach at least two courses during the fall semester on main campus each year of the agreement.

The offer is valid only from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, 2003. "We've limited the window on it so we can hire people for the fall," says Dr. Bruce Speck, vice president for academic affairs. "If we wait until spring, it's too late to fill the position."

Speck says the executive team decided to make the offer for a couple of reasons. "We have heard, through the grapevine and directly from some professors, that there might be a number of people willing to retire if they had the maximum of four years and 40 percent teaching.

"So we did a cost-benefit analysis, and we realized that by offering 40 percent, which is 12 hours, at 40 percent of their salary, we'd be able to replace these people with beginning tenure-track faculty."

Speck says it's a win/win situation. "A number of faculty are interested in retirement. This gives them the opportunity we've heard they're interested in."

It's also good for the University, he says. "For that salary (the salary of the retiring individual), we get one and a half positions. Financially, that's good for the institution."

Speck says no one will be forced to take the offer. "It's strictly voluntary."

He also emphasizes that retiring faculty still can choose to teach one or two years at 40 percent of their teaching load and salary, instead of four years. "We want to offer maximum flexibility," he says.

Positions vacated by a retiring faculty member revert to Academic Affairs, and positions will be filled on the basis of need. Student credit hours will play a role in the decision making process.

"In some situations, we will not be able to have one-to-one replacements," Speck says. "It may be that we have two people retire, and the department gets one position out of that. We then may take the money saved and put it somewhere else where we may have faculty retiring and can't make up their salary."

After the close of the 30-day period ending Oct. 15, the University will revert to the current post-retirement program of two years and 20 percent until further notice, Speck adds.