NMU board approves additional funds for early retirement program

MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees in a special meeting Tuesday approved an additional $500,000 to fund the voluntary Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program.

The ERIP was approved by the board on May 1 and was offered to faculty members age 62 and older with at least 10 years of service to the university. Sixty-five individuals were eligible for the program. Thirty-six faculty members signed on to participate, which was greater than the number anticipated and exceeds the $3 million previously approved by the board.

“This is a win-win situation,” said Board of Trustees Chair Rick Popp. “It provides additional opportunities for people who have put in many fantastic years and have done a lot for NMU. And it enables us to do so many additional things for the university.”

In the unanimous vote, Board Member Gil Ziegler added, “This is the start of really looking at smart-sizing the university. It’s a great move.”

“This was a wonderful opportunity for our faculty, many of whom were already considering retirement,” said NMU Provost Paul Lang. “It also accounts for a significant savings on the part of the university, as we will have the program paid off in two years. It will help to realign our faculty resources, which is especially important as we face declining enrollment.”

Lang said that an analysis will be done over the next academic year to determine how and under what circumstances resources associated with the ERIP will be utilized. Course demand and programmatic growth will be two important considerations going forward.

The effective severance and retirement date for most participants is June 30. Arrangements with a few faculty members provide for their working through the fall semester or June 2015.

“We want to thank these new retirees for their dedication and service to Northern,” said NMU Interim President David Haynes. “Many have dedicated their lives to teaching at NMU, and their research and publications have heightened our reputation.”