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Retirement plan on hold for URI, RIC and CCRI

January 6, 2012

Higher Education officials will not be voting Monday on a controversial retirement incentive for state colleges and universities. The Board of Higher Education had scheduled a special meeting to consider the proposal. But a key committee failed to approve the plan this morning, saying it needs more time to study the issue.

The retirement incentive would provide a one-time payment to senior professors and professional employees who agree to step down. Officials at the University of Rhode Island say this will help trim their budget and build a faculty better suited to the university’s academic priorities.

Some faculty members have criticized the plan, saying it shows a lack of consideration for the skills of experienced professors and other employees. The faculty union director at the University of Rhode Island called it “insulting” when the proposal was first introduced.

University of Rhode Island President David Dooley says he needs an answer by mid-March if he is going to implement the incentives in the coming academic year. At today’s committee meeting, he testified that putting the plan in place by September would allow the university to realize savings for the current budget year.

As for Rhode Island College and CCRI, state officials say both schools were directed to consider a similar retirement program but decided it would not be right for them at this time.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Timothy George permalink
    January 7, 2012 1:47 am

    Correction: It was our Executive Director Frank Annunziato who called the proposed retirement plan “insulting” in a ProJo interview. He was absolutely correct that senior faculty considering retirement, especially those in the humanities and social sciences, may now feel that URI values them less than it does cheaper, younger faculty in other disciplines. I have made clear to President David Dooley our strong disappointment that the plan was drafted without consultation with the faculty. I have also expressed to him serious faculty concerns that the proposal implies an increasingly top-down decision-making process and a shift in the academic center of gravity of the university. We have not been shown cost-and-benefit estimates, but many faculty wonder how this plan will save money. If the real goal is to reshape the university, such plans should be the result of wide consultation reflecting the long tradition of shared governance at URI, and should reflect the broadest possible view of the role of our university in our society. We are always prepared to join such discussions.
    Timothy George, Professor of History, URI
    President, URI AAUP

    • January 11, 2012 9:55 pm

      You are absolutely right, it was Frank Annunziato who called the retirement incentive “insulting.” He may have said it to the projo, but he also said it in an interview with me.

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