Barbara A. Bichelmeyer Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Monday, June 8, 2020, 2:49 p.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff

Dear Staff and Faculty,

The Chancellor’s May 21 message identified the very challenging financial situation we face as an institution. To manage the ongoing fiscal health of the University of Kansas, we are exploring a wide variety of measures to help reduce costs into the future. Today I am announcing one of those measures will be an accelerated voluntary separation incentive program to be completed by the end of this calendar year. Eligible staff and faculty at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses may apply for consideration. This was not an easy decision, however, it is one that will help enable the university to plan and forecast its continued capacity to provide high-quality educational experiences and exceptional research on our Lawrence and Edwards campuses long into the future.

Eligibility guidelines:

The Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) is available only to eligible

KU-Lawrence and Edwards Campus Faculty and Staff who are active participants in the KBOR Mandatory retirement plan who:

  1. Are 62 years of age or older at the Date of Separation (retirement);
  2. Have completed at least ten (10) years of service in a benefits-eligible position at KU or a State of Kansas agency at the Date of Separation; and
  3. Are not otherwise ineligible, as set forth below.

and

KU-Lawrence and Edwards Campus Staff who are active participants in the KPERS or KP&F Retirement Plans who:

  1. Have 85 points under KPERS or meet KP&F retirement eligibility or are 62 years of age or older at the Date of Separation and meet KPERS retirement eligibility;
  2. Have completed at least ten (10) years of service in a benefits-eligible position at KU or a State of Kansas agency at the Date of Separation; and
  3. are not otherwise ineligible, as set forth below.

The following employee groups are ineligible:

  1. Employees who already have an active phased-retirement agreement or are scheduled to begin phased-retirement at a future date,
  2. Employees who have already announced intention to retire and their unit has acknowledged,
  3. Employees whose positions are funded entirely (100%) through grants,
  4. Current KU retirees who have been rehired at KU,
  5. Employees on approved long-term disability or who are in the waiting period,
  6. Employees with an identified or projected Date of Separation with KU, and
  7. Any employees who were on Sabbatical in 2020 or will be on Sabbatical leave for Fall 2020, unless revoked.

Eligibility will be determined by the KU Department of Human Resource Management.

Eligible staff and faculty who are accepted into the 2020 VSIP will receive a lump-sum cash payment of $100,000 or their FY 2021 budgeted base salary, whichever is lower, minus required deductions. Deductions include applicable federal and state taxes and any other legally required deductions. Base salary is the annual budgeted salary for the employee, and does not include faculty payments for summer sessions, overloads, or other one-time payments; endowed and distinguished professor supplements; administrative supplements; research or external funding; endowment income; or any other administrative payments.

Participants must retire on Dec. 31, 2020. Participants must wait 1 year before they are eligible for rehire at the university.  Further, participants will not be eligible to be rehired into the same position with the same job responsibilities or title as stated in university policy.

VSIP addresses specific issues of funding and strategic decisions in campus programming and is intended for eligible staff and faculty in state-funded positions. However, eligible individuals in positions funded from other sources (such as restricted fees) may be considered.

Each application will be reviewed individually with the intent to allow as many eligible staff and faculty as possible to participate. However, each approval will be granted based on the best interest of the university community. Applying and being approved for the VSIP does not exempt that individual from the possibility of being affected by other cost-saving measures that may still need to be enacted.

A program overview, complete list of eligibility conditions, a list of Frequently Asked Questions and links to resources are available online at http://provost.ku.edu/2020-vsip. The guidelines include complete program information, including application timeline and procedure.

The application period begins Monday, June 8, 2020 and ends on Friday, July 10, 2020.

This is an important decision, and I encourage eligible employees to consider their situation carefully. Contact vsip@ku.edu with questions. Eligible employees are advised to contact an attorney of their own choosing at their own expense to discuss the VSIP and to review documents provided as part of the program. Participants are also encouraged to consult a tax advisor of their own choosing if they so desire.

Respectfully,

Barb

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor