The University of Missouri-Kansas City, as well as the other three campuses in the UM System, will extend buyout offers to tenured faculty nearing retirement age, it was announced Friday.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything we can to alleviate any financial pressure,” MU spokesman Christian Basi said, though he was “not ready to speculate” on whether more layoffs would be coming if too few employees took buyouts.
To be eligible for the one-time, lump sum payment, faculty members must be full-time, benefit eligible employees with five or more years of service. They must be 62 or older and not under investigation. The payout is one and a half times their salary, capped at $200,000.
“If we have the financial flexibility to use those salary lines, we can bring in stellar, younger faculty members, potentially changing the direction of research and looking at new technology,” Basi said.
Earlier this year, UM System President Mun Choi called for $260 million for scholarships, faculty recruitment and research.
Basi says those conversations will begin in earnest once the Missouri legislature convenes in January.
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Elle Moxley covers education for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.