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As U of L Buyout Deadline Looms, More than 365 Employees Expressed Interest

The University of Louisville will close its window Friday for eligible staff and faculty to accept a buyout offer that’s expected to save more  than$2.75 million dollars next year.

The final number that will accept what’s being called the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program will not be known until late next week at the earliest, said Sam Connally, U of L’s vice president of human resources.But 365 employees expressed interest in the program during a three-week sign-up period in March. When the second offer was made in May, Connally says they likely picked up “20 more folks.”In a typical year, 90 employees retire from U of L. The program needed at least 200 participants to be viable, Connally said.“Otherwise, I’m just getting this year’s crop of retirees and next year’s crop at the same time and I don’t really create those long term vacancies," he said.Connally expects the final number of participants to be fewer than 365—and he  expects the buyout program to have enough participants to be viable.“There will be some that take a closer look and then decide this is not the right time for them, and that our net number of folks that actually participate will be smaller,” he said.U of L trustees were told this month that the program's savings expectations have been raised from $2.5 million to $2.75 million.State funding to U of L was frozen this year following over a decade of state budget cuts to higher education. The decision to offer buyouts this year wasn’t based on state funding, but instead on the university's commitment to expand initiative, Connally says.More than 1,200 people are eligible for the buyout and U of L gave staff and faculty two opportunities to officially enter into the agreement. The staff who take the buyout are expected to leave their positions by Oct. 31, but most faculty will leave by next summer.Staff and faculty whose age and service totals 75 are eligible for the buyout.The last buyout was in 2009 and was only targeted toward faculty with a $2.5 million cap in salaries (the $2.75 estimated amount this time is in terms of savings, not salaries).

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