University offers early retirement to 48 faculty members

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The University of Montana has offered early retirement incentives to 48 tenured faculty members age 65 and older in an effort to save money.

The Missoulian reports the faculty members have until May 31 to decide if they'll accept the offer, which includes receiving 50 percent of their salary this school year. Their last day of work would be July 17.

The Montana Legislature appropriated $2 million for buyouts, which would cover the 48 offers.

Kevin McRae, spokesman for the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, says if not all of the faculty members accept the offer the university will look at other options.

UM estimates it needs to cut 80 to 100 faculty positions to reduce personnel expenses from 80 percent of the budget to closer to the norm of 72 percent.

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