Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

for Retirement-Eligible Tenured Faculty

The cupola on top of Love Library lit up red

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Nebraska is offering eligible faculty an opportunity to retire early through our Voluntary Separation Incentive Program.

The VSIP provides flexibility to our faculty regarding their retirement options. Based on past experience, we know a number of faculty may be considering retirement, and the VSIP gives those faculty an attractive option while also creating flexibility in the university’s budget to reinvest in priorities or plan for future uncertainty.

To be eligible for the VSIP, faculty must be tenured, at least 62 years old at the date of separation, and must have served at the University of Nebraska for at least 10 years. Faculty who choose to participate will be paid a lump sum of 80 percent of their base salary. The program is entirely voluntary.

You may access the VSIP application here. Faculty have until December 3, 2019 to submit applications to the Executive Vice Chancellor's office, and will be notified by December 16, 2019 whether their applications have been accepted.

You may be asking: Why offer the VSIP now? We have discussed this matter carefully with our academic and business leadership teams and Interim President Fritz.

We believe providing a flexible retirement option to our most senior faculty, who have collectively given many decades of service to the university and contributed enormously to our upward trajectory, is the right thing to do. We estimate 400 faculty across the UNL, UNO and UNK campuses are eligible to participate in the VSIP this year.

Concurrently, it makes good fiscal sense to create flexibility in our budget when we can. Past VSIP savings have allowed us to reinvest in the next generation of faculty and invest in research and other strategic priorities.

In addition to the application, you’ll find detailed information on the VSIP, along with common questions and answers here.

Thank you for all you do for the University of Nebraska.

Sincerely,

Ronnie, Richard, and Mike

What is VSIP?

VSIP provides eligible faculty, who voluntarily elect and are approved to separate employment from the University, with a lump-sum cash payment equal to 80% of the faculty member’s annual base salary as of October 1, 2019, less federal and state withholding taxes and any other legally required reductions.

VSIP is intended to provide the University with savings over the long-term. Savings is most likely achieved through the separation of eligible faculty in state-funded positions. However, the University may also consider eligible faculty in positions funded from other sources, if doing so meets its goals.

Please refer to this website and the associated documents for information concerning any rights and obligations faculty may have under the VSIP.

Who is Eligible?

A member of the faculty is eligible for VSIP only if he or she:

  1. has a continuous appointment (tenure)
  2. is 62 years of age or older at the Date of Separation
  3. has completed at least ten years of service upon the Date of Separation, as determined by the University’s Human Resources offices

Ineligibility

The following faculty are ineligible for VSIP:

  1. Pre-tenure specific term/tenure track faculty
  2. Non-tenured faculty, e.g. Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Extension Educators, Professors of Practice, Research faculty
  3. Medical, Veterinary or similar professional residents/interns
  4. Postdoctoral Research Associates
  5. Faculty already party to a phased retirement agreement
  6. Retirees

Learn more

Voluntary Program

  • Faculty are encouraged to consider the program and determine if it is right for them.
  • No one at the University may require a member of the faculty to apply, or prohibit faculty from applying, for the VSIP.
  • The VSIP is completely voluntary.
  • There are no adverse consequences to one’s University employment should a member of the faculty decline to participate.
  • Non-participating faculty will be treated in the same manner as other similarly situated faculty with respect to future terms and conditions of employment.

How to Apply

Eligible faculty, who wish to separate employment and receive the payment and other consideration available under the VSIP, must download a VSIP Application Form. The application period for the VSIP begins on October 14, 2019, and ends December 3, 2019. Applications submitted later than 5:00 p.m. on December 3, 2019, will not be considered.

Receipt of applications will be acknowledged by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for the applicant’s campus. An applicant may withdraw his or her Application Form at any time before an executed Separation Agreement is submitted by the applicant. To withdraw an application, submit the Withdrawal Form. Withdrawal Forms must be hand-delivered or date stamped and mailed via US Postal Service on or before February 13, 2020, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor.

A Withdrawal Form for an application sent by any other delivery method will not be accepted.

On or before December 16, 2019, VSIP applicants will be notified in writing whether or not their applications have been approved. If approved, the notification will include instructions on how to pick-up and execute the Separation Agreement.

Learn more

Deliver materials to:

Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer

Voluntary Separation Incentive Program
208 Canfield Administration Building
Lincoln, NE 68588-0420

What Happens Next?

On or before December 16, 2019, VSIP applicants will be notified in writing whether or not their applications have been approved. If approved, the notification will include instructions on how to pick-up and execute the Separation Agreement.

Timeline

October 14, 2019 VSIP program announced
October 14 –
December 3, 2019
VSIP applications received
December 16, 2019 Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance
December 16 – 20, 2019 Faculty can pick-up the VSIP Separation Agreements in Executive Vice Chancellor’s office
February 13, 2020 Last day faculty may return signed VSIP Separation Agreements
June 30, 2020 Faculty with 12-month appointments separate
(date by which faculty on 12-month appointments must meet the eligibility criterion of 62 years of age and 10 years of service)
July 31, 2020 VSIP payment made to faculty on 12-month appointments
August 16, 2020 Faculty with academic year "9 over 12 month" appointments separate
(date by which faculty on 9-month appointments must meet the eligibility criterion of 62 years of age and 10 years of service)
August 31, 2020 VSIP payments made to faculty on academic year "9 over 12 month" appointments

Program Details: Questions & Answers

Eligibility
Eligibility
Process/Timeline
Process/ Timeline
Payment/Tax
Payment/ Tax
Benefits
Benefits
Miscellaneous
More

The Chancellor shall have the discretionary authority to determine eligibility for the VSIP payment and other consideration and to construe the terms of the VSIP, including the making of factual determinations. The decisions of the Chancellor shall be final and conclusive with respect to all questions concerning the administration of the VSIP on his campus.

Questions or concerns regarding this program should be directed to the Executive Vice Chancellor.

Marjorie Kostelnik

Confidential Faculty Resource

Faculty members who would like to have a confidential conversation about the details of the VSIP program can contact Marjorie Kostelnik, Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor, at mkostelnik2@unl.edu or (402) 472-9385.

Contacts

EVC Office

Judy Walker
Associate Vice Chancellor
judy.walker@unl.edu
(402) 472-3751

IANR

Ron Yoder
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor
ryoder2@unl.edu
(402) 472-2871

Benefits

Gayle Page
Director of Benefits & Risk Management
gayle.page@unl.edu
(402) 472-8641

Payroll

Jo Bialas
Director of Business Operations
jbialas@unl.edu
(402) 472-8611