As most of you know, earlier this year we offered a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program for eligible employees to mitigate the effects of impending state budget reductions. Some 239 individuals met the criteria (at least 55 years old and at least five years of service).
Of those, 75 employees applied and 61 were offered VSIP agreements.
The deadline for submitting signed agreements has passed, and 50 employees have decided to sign their agreements. Those employees come from all parts of campus and include professors, office associates, custodians and administrators.
We are losing many valuable employees who have worked very hard to make UW-Stout a special institution. They take with them many years of experience and institutional knowledge that will be hard, if not impossible, to replace. Their departures also will require many remaining employees to step into new roles to ensure the university continues to function efficiently and effectively.
A major reason for offering the VSIPs was to encourage voluntary separations in strategic areas to significantly reduce the need for layoffs. While unfortunately we will not be able to eliminate layoffs, it appears the number will be minimal and I am thankful for that.
I want to thank our retiring employees for their tremendous service to the university. I hope to speak to many of you personally during our fall retirement reception from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center.
I also want to express my deep appreciation for those employees who are taking on new responsibilities because of the large number of retirements. The devotion that you show for this institution inspires me to work even harder on behalf of UW-Stout.