Update on Voluntary Separation Program
The college is evaluating employee vacancies as a result of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) that was offered this past spring.
According to Mike Frandsen, Vice President for Finance and Administration, 98 employees accepted the offer for early retirement, representing 30 percent of all those who were eligible. Employee groups participating (and the number of participants in each) are faculty (15), administrative and professional staff (29), Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees (32), United Auto Workers (21), and safety and security (1).
The incentive was offered as an opportunity for those who were considering retirement but were uncertain about timing due to financial concerns. To qualify, an employee had to be at least 52 years old with a minimum of 10 years of service, with the combination of age and length of employment totaling at least 75. Those who accepted the offer will receive 100 percent of one year’s salary, paid in equal monthly payments over a 12-month period. Health insurance premiums are also waived for one year following retirement.
The purpose of the VSIP is to expedite voluntary attrition with the goal of decreasing long-term operational costs. Projected savings will be between $2.5 million to $3.5 million annually.
Chief Human Resources Officer Joe Vitale says the college intends to evaluate the impact of any VSIP vacancies with consideration to the effectiveness and efficiency of the institution. Since most VSIP programs won't begin until January 2017, the college will continue to prepare for the impending departures and make decisions about whether to refill, not refill, or redesign positions to meet the needs of the institution.
Vitale says the college will evaluate each VSIP-related vacancy individually. Reviews will include total vacancies, their timelines, and how they may be affected by other VSIP-related departures within the same areas of the institution. Vacancies will be managed on a case-by-case basis, and decisions to fill or not fill those vacancies will be made the same way.