Ball State offered some faculty early retirement. Nearly 100 are accepting
Ball State University’s president says the school will spend $10 million on incentives for faculty taking advantage of a voluntary early retirement program next month.
Announced to faculty in December, the program is only offered this academic year. Full-time professors that meet a metric – age plus number of years of service – could apply to retire early. Those that do will receive a one-time payment of 125 percent of their annual salary.
Ball State University’s administration says the coronavirus pandemic required a quick move to online and other ways of teaching. It’s a technological shift that President Geoffrey Mearns says will only increase going forward, and the school needs a faculty who can meet the challenge.
“The purpose is to hire faculty for the next 20-30 years. We’re hiring faculty that will teach in the programs of the future. We will be hiring faculty who are teaching in the modalities of the future.”
For example, Mearns says a survey shows 80 percent of students prefer summer classes be offered online, not in-person.
The president also says the program’s purpose isn’t to replace full-time faculty with adjunct or part-time instructors.
In December, the university said nearly 300 faculty members were eligible for the program. Now, 92 of those are set to retire on May 14.