Voluntary Separation Incentive Program
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I recently updated you regarding the budget issues facing the State of Texas and UT Arlington and outlined the University's initial approach to address the state's mandatory 5 percent general revenue budget reductions for the current biennium.
We are considering all options as we continue to refocus expenditures and realign the University's financial and human resources to support our strategic priorities. We must achieve sufficient savings to meet our budget targets.
This morning, I met with vice presidents, deans, directors, and department heads to discuss the budget situation and to explain how we intend to respond to the loss of approximately $9 million in direct state support.
During this meeting, we also announced a new program—the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program—that is designed to reduce staffing costs across the University.
The key components of the program are as follows:
The program applies to full-time administrative and professional and classified staff only. It does not extend to faculty members; nor does it apply to deans, associate deans, or assistant deans with tenure appointments. Certain other categories also are excluded.
Full-time administrative and professional and classified staff are eligible to participate if they meet one of the following criteria:
— Have a combination of age and Texas state service credit totaling 80 with at least five years of Texas state service credit as of May 31, 2010; or
— Have a total of 20 or more years of Texas state service as of May 31, 2010.
The University shall make a one-time voluntary incentive payment of $20,000 or 50 percent of the employee's base annual salary as of May 31, 2010, whichever is greater, less required federal and state taxes.
Eligible employees will have 65 days to consider this offer and must submit a signed voluntary separation agreement to the Office of Human Resources by no later than 5 p.m. on June 15, 2010.
Each eligible employee must meet with his or her supervisor to determine a mutually acceptable date for the employee's separation or retirement. The separation date must be on or before Aug. 31, 2010, the end of the current fiscal year.
On Friday, April 9, the Office of Human Resources will mail detailed information packets to eligible employees at their home addresses. Many common questions, as well as a schedule for upcoming campus information sessions, are addressed in these Frequently Asked Questions. Employees also may direct questions to representatives in the Employee Benefits Office at 817-272-5554 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Budget reductions are never easy, and our current situation is no exception. I must stress that the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) is one of several possible options to reduce the University's budget for Fiscal Year 2011. Depending on the effectiveness of the program, we may need to consider further staff reductions.
As we implement these budget reductions, it is important that everyone understand that we will not do anything that compromises the momentum of the University. Our strategic vision to become a major national research university within the next decade remains front and center, and we will continue to make the necessary investments to stay on track.
I also want to reassure you that we remain deeply committed to providing an affordable, first-rate education for our students. During the next few years, we will continue to enhance essential services and support for students. We also will continue to make strategic investments at UT Arlington by recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members who bring luster and prestige to our academic enterprise. And we will continue to invest in the construction and renovation of critically important facilities and infrastructure that are central to our mission.
As in the past, UT Arlington will meet these challenges head on. I have no doubt that our University will become stronger, more nimble, and more intently focused as a result of our collective efforts.
Meanwhile, I will continue to keep you updated on our progress. As always, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued commitment to this great university.
James D. Spaniolo