The number of participants in the University’s Employee Separation Program (UESP) has exceeded BGSU’s estimate.
A total of 156 faculty and staff have chosen to take advantage of the voluntary program. The University’s consultant had estimated that 138 would participate.
According to Dr. Kenneth Borland Jr., senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, the University is pleased with the initial results of the program.
“First, we are pleased that the program has obviously been respectful of and appealing to people who have served BGSU for many years,” Borland said. “We still need to closely analyze the numbers. However, we believe that we will be very close to meeting our cost-saving goals.”
Rebecca Ferguson, chief human resources officer, says the number and types of positions that are eventually re-filled will determine the final savings.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with the cabinet, the deans and directors to determine which of the positions are critical to our mission and will need to be filled and which ones can be eliminated,” she said.
“These vacancies provide an opportunity for us to strategically address how we staff for contemporary and future needs,” Borland says.
He adds that the University is committed to maintaining tenure-track faculty positions that are vacated through the UESP.
“Experienced faculty are key to our success,” Borland says. “They form the foundation of this University. Retaining our tenure-track faculty lines is a top priority.”
According to Ferguson, employees have until Monday, Feb. 8, to change their minds. Therefore, the University won’t have final numbers until Feb. 9.
The voluntary separation benefit was a one-time offer to full-time faculty and staff with at least 15 years of service to BGSU as of June 30, 2010. Eligible employees who choose to retire or leave the University will receive a financial incentive.
Nonprofit created to develop new residence halls
BGSU has formed a nonprofit corporation—Centennial Falcon Properties—to facilitate the development of new student housing.
According to Sherideen Stoll, chief financial officer, the development corporation will allow the University to build new housing more quickly and cost-effectively.
“The development corporation allows us to create new, state-of-the-art student housing without financial obligation to the University,” Stoll said. “This preserves both our existing resources and our long-term debt capacity for academic needs and other campus projects.”
Centennial Falcon Properties will work with a nationally recognized developer of student housing facilities. Two new residence halls are slated to open in fall 2011. One new hall will be located on the site of Rodgers Quadrangle. The second will be located north of Offenhauer in the current commuter lot. The commuter parking will be replaced.
Stoll adds that most, if not all, of Ohio’s 13 state universities have similar development corporations.
“The residents of Ohio expect us to look for new, innovative ways to cost-effectively meet the needs of our students,” said President Carol Cartwright. “Centennial Falcon Properties will do just that. In only 18 months we’ll have two beautiful new residence halls that will rival any student housing in the country.”
To ensure the corporation works in harmony with the University's priorities, the board of directors of Centennial Falcon Properties is comprised of members of the President's Cabinet and a member of the University's Foundation Board.
BGSU helps teach students to manage their finances