The Richmond Register

March 15, 2013

Staff reduction, buyouts on EKU regents agenda

Called meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday

By Bill Robinson
Register Editor

RICHMOND — A staff-reduction program, a voluntary buyout program and an “enhanced retirement transition program amendment” along with budget reallocation will be on the agenda when the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents meet in a special called session 10 a.m. Tuesday in Room 549 of the Student Success Building.

Also on the agenda are revisions to the student government association constitution.

The meeting was announced in a midday Friday email from Virginia Underwood, the board’s assistant secretary.

The university has been closed for spring break this week, and many members of the campus community were out of town when the called meeting was announced.

The meeting will begin with an informational agenda followed by an executive session, the announcement stated. After the closed session, the board will take up an action agenda that contains the same five points of this first agenda.

After calling on the university community in late January to help the regents and administration find ways to reduce its $230 million budget by 10 percent, EKU President Doug Whitlock revealed on Feb. 7 that such a reduction probably could not be achieved without cutting staff.

The president promised “a fair and humane process” in the event of involuntary layoffs.

A campus task force already had been appointed to review potential savings with a mandate to protect EKU’s core mission.

With staff reduction, retirement and buyout programs on Tuesday’s agenda, along with budget reallocation, the regents appeared ready at least to begin considering ways to cut expenses by cutting staff.

In June 2012, after the University of Kentucky moved to cut 1 percent of its staff, Whitlock said he believed a hiring freeze imposed in December 2011 would keep EKU from resorting to involuntary layoffs.

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or at 623-6690.