Illinois Wesleyan University is offering an early retirement incentive as a part of a wide-ranging plan to save $1.1 million.
University President Eric Jensen detailed the plan in a letter sent to faculty and staff on Tuesday.
“This is not an especially unusual thing to do, to look at what we may have proposed in the initial budget and then find a way to really ramp backwards,” Jensen said.
It also calls for the university to look at outsourcing some departments and merging some academic departments.
“We must continue to rethink our operations strategically to generate new sources of revenue and ensure that IWU operates in an efficient and responsible way,” Jensen said in the letter.
Early retirement will be available to faculty and staff 55 and older with 20 years at the university.
Jensen said the number of people who take the offer will determine how many jobs would be cut, but did not give a specific target.
“We’d obviously prefer to do as many voluntary retirements as possible,” Jensen replied.
The plan calls for reducing visiting faculty positions from 13 to nine and limiting hiring of adjunct professors to 80 percent of requests. IWU plans to eliminate one academic support staff position and cut five jobs in custodial services by not filling currently vacant positions.
The university will explore outsourcing its bookstore, health services, publications, printing and mailing services and wellness.
“At this point, we don’t know how they are going to look,” Jensen said. “We are going to ask the experts in some of these areas to come in and give us proposals about what those outsourcing mechanics might actually look like.”
IWU plans to close its English House rather than undergo renovations and will relocate faculty to its Center for Liberal Arts.
The university also plans to add "Fortnite" to its e-sports program starting next fall and start a women's bowling team by fall 2020 to help boost enrollment.
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