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Hoping to cut costs, NDSU again offers early retirement incentives

FARGO — North Dakota State University is offering buyouts to faculty and staff through early separation incentives in a cost-cutting move as the higher education system continues to grapple with lean budgets.

The announcement of the “limited time” voluntary separation incentive program was made in an email sent the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Eligible employees will receive incentive compensation based on their annual base salary and completed years of service.

“All employees who meet minimum eligibility requirements as of Feb. 15, 2019, are invited to apply,” the notice advised.

“Participation is voluntary for both NDSU and the eligible employee. Employees are not guaranteed participation in the plan, and the decision to approve an applicant is entirely at the discretion of NDSU.”

Eligibility requirements include meeting the rule of 65, meaning that the employee’s age and total years of “benefited employment” must equal or exceed 65. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 15.

In the fall of 2016, NDSU offered similar faculty and staff early retirement incentives. Thirty-eight employees were accepted, resulting in an annual savings of $3.4 million, according to NDSU figures.

Laura McDaniel, NDSU’s associate vice president for university relations, said the administration would not have any comment beyond the email notice.

The University of North Dakota also is once again offering buyout incentives. The university previously offered a series of staff and faculty buyouts in 2017. Around 120 UND employees applied for the separation program in 2017 and 84 of the applications were approved.

Patrick Springer

Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com

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