Cut of $2.8m will result in 24 positions lost

In an email Friday (July 10) to all employees, Chancellor Gary L. Miller outlined how the new UW System budget — which includes a loss of $125 million annually in state taxpayer support — will affect UW-Green Bay. The good news: The $2.8 million funding cut here was scaled back from the $4.6 million initially projected, and is unlikely to require involuntary layoffs. The bad news: a significant reduction in force through the loss of several dozen vacant faculty and staff positions will be a challenge. The Chancellor thanked the University’s Trustees for their advocacy, and campus leadership and the University Planning and Innovation Council (UPIC) for their contributions to budget-reduction planning (which continues). To see Miller’s memo, click here.


About 24 positions at UW-Green Bay are losing their state GPR funding, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported in its July 11 print edition. “It is a serious reduction,” said Chancellor Gary Miller, who said layoffs aren’t needed because senior employees (29 total) accepted voluntary separation deals. “That’s a significant reduction in our workforce,” Miller said. “We are losing some key people, and some key knowledge.” The university has some savings to use while it fine-tunes its staffing plans, having frozen hiring, curtailed travel and cut back on purchases months ago in anticipation of the state budget reductions being approved. To read the P-G story, click here.



Sampson quoted by WPR on voluntary separations

A Wisconsin Public Radio story earlier this week noted that UW-Green Bay is the first of eight UW campuses with numbers to report on a campus-based “voluntary separation” program. Spokesman Christopher Sampson said a total of 29 individuals signed up for the buyouts (including him) with departure dates between July 3 and Jan. 7, 2016. He said school officials hope to reconfigure or consolidate jobs and maybe eliminate some positions. They hope to do that without laying off current workers. The story is archived here.

Update on UW-Green Bay’s VSIP status

The Green Bay Press-Gazette has posted a story by reporter Patti Zarling about the status of UW-Green Bay’s Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP). A total of 29 senior employees accepted the buyouts, said Human Resources Director Sheryl Van Gruensven. The packages were offered to 158 employees (about one-quarter of the regular workforce) who met the eligibility criteria of age 55 or older with at least five years of service. Of those, 38 took the step of requesting that paperwork be drafted; the 29 who signed their agreements represent 18 percent of the total eligible. Departure dates range from this week through early January 2016, and Van Gruensven noted the positions reflect a range of jobs and employee categories across campus. UW-Green Bay officials say the VSIP departures should help balance the school’s budget and mitigate against any involuntary layoffs, but they decline to estimate the potential savings or discuss individual positions at this time. Decisions on whether vacant jobs will be eliminated, consolidated or re-staffed won’t begin to be finalized until after the 2015-17 state and UW System budgets are approved. Eight of the state’s 13 four-year universities are offering VSIP options. Read the P-G story.

About 40 apply for voluntary separation at UW-Green Bay

The Green Bay Press-Gazette provided its readers an update Wednesday on the status of UW-Green Bay’s Voluntary Separation Incentive Program inviting employees over the age of 55 with five years of service to consider early separation. The program is being explored as a potential cost-saving measure in the face of an anticipated multi-million-dollar cut in state funding. About 40 UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members expressed interest in the deal as of last week’s deadline. That’s about one-fourth of the 158 who were eligible. Administrators have said not every application will be accepted. They’ll notify applicants by May 15 and those offered packages will have 45 days to sign, if they want to accept. Separation dates will vary, from June 30 to January 31. Read more.

‘UW-Green Bay staff consider separation offers’

The Green Bay Press-Gazette, in a thoroughly reported story by Patti Zarling, made the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program at UW-Green Bay its lead news item over the weekend, both online and in the Sunday, April 12, print edition. Included are quotes from Prof. Steve Meyer, interim director of computing services David Kieper, and Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “What I am hearing from staff is that unless they are close to retirement age, they aren’t interested,” Meyer, age 56 and a 14-year employee, told the newspaper. “(Personally), no way I am going to take them up on their offer. I am too far away from retirement to take it.” Kieper repeated his concern that the loss of senior faculty and staff could impact the university’s ability to meet students’ needs. “We’re a small campus, it’s not like there’s four or five people doing one thing and you can get rid of one of them. Lots of time there’s one person doing a job.” The Chancellor wouldn’t hazard a guess on how many separation requests will be submitted, or approved. He said the program is just one part of a larger budget strategy that will look at “every aspect of the university, from how we’re spending money, administrative support, how we set up programs, how we are organized, how we perform academic services… it’s all on the table.” The full story.

Clarification on makeup of those invited to consider separation

In Sunday’s Press-Gazette report there appeared to be a typo or transposed number in the information attributed to University spokesperson Christopher Sampson regarding the 158 people offered separation packages and the employee categories they represent. The correct breakdown is 54 faculty, 49 classified staff, 41 academic staff (including 14 who are primarily classroom instructors) and 14 “limited” appointments.

UW-Milwaukee joins schools offering ‘buyouts’

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that UW-Milwaukee is becoming the fifth (and, so far, largest) UW institution to offer separation incentives to veteran employees. Eau Claire, Green Bay, Oshkosh and Superior are the other schools currently accepting applications for early retirement as part of statewide budget cutting.

UW-Green Bay unveils Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

On Friday, UW-Green Bay became the latest UW System institution to offer early-separation incentives to veteran employees as a possible way to reduce payroll in preparation for major budget cuts expected to take effect July 1. Emails were sent to about 155 employees age 55 or older to notify them of their eligibility. Information about the program is archived on the Human Resources website.

Fox 11 reports on buyout program

Reporter Gabrielle Mays of Fox 11 News came to UW-Green Bay Friday to talk to University employees about a newly announced voluntary-separation program for faculty and staff who are 55 or older. Mays talked to David Kieper of CIT, a 36-year employee, and to Director of Human Resources Sheryl Van Gruensven. Kieper indicated he’s open to considering the offer, but he also expressed concern about the University potentially losing so much institutional knowledge and experience all at once. Van Gruensven noted that not everyone who applies for the program will be accepted.