Voluntary Separation Program 2021

Link to Word version of UIS Voluntary Separation Program 2021 information

I. Introduction

  1. In an effort to improve efficiencies and to better align our workforce to meet our student enrollment demands, a short-term Voluntary Separation Program (“VSP”) is being offered to certain Eligible Employees (defined in Section II below).
  2. The VSP is being adopted effective December 8, 2020.
  3. The VSP is not an entitlement and any agreements must correspond with the needs of UIS. A fundamental requirement is that an Eligible Employee’s separation must result in a benefit to UIS.  As a result, not every Eligible Employee who applies for the VSP may be accepted.
  4. Submitting an application to participate in the VSP shall be on a strictly voluntary basis. The choice to apply is entirely up to the employee. No one at UIS may require an Eligible Employee to participate.

II. Eligible Employees

The VSP is only available to UIS employees meeting all of the following requirements (referred to as an “Eligible Employee”):

  1. The employee must be a permanent tenured faculty member holding a rank of Associate Professor or Full Professor.
  2. The employee must (i) be age 55 or older and (ii) have 5 or more years of service in tenure/tenure track position with UIS, determined in each case as of May 15, 2021.

III. Important Program Dates and Timeline

  1. Eligible Employees will be provided notice of the VSP and application instructions on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
  2. Eligible Employees may apply for participation through Friday, January 22, 2021.
  3. Following the close of the application period and review of all applications, Eligible Employees will be notified of their initial acceptance or rejection no later than Friday, January 29, 2021.
  4. Applicants who are rejected will have three (3) business days to submit a written request for review.
  5. Following review of any appeals, the final pool of Eligible Employee accepted into the VSP  (referred to as “Participants”) will be determined and each applicant will be notified no later than Monday, February 8, 2021.
  6. Each Participant will be required to return a Release (discussed in Section V below) to UIS no later than Friday, February 19, 2021.  Under the law, the Participant will have seven (7) days to revoke the Release and anyone choosing to exercise that right will be withdrawn from the VSP.  If the Participant does not exercise his or her right during this 7-day period, the Participant’s participation in the VSP will become effective and irrevocable.
  7. The Participant’s last day of employment with the UIS and the University will be May 15, 2021.

IV. Program Incentive

  1. Subject to the Participant’s execution and non-revocation of all required Releases, the Participant will receive a lump sum payment determined as follows:
    Number of Weeks of Base Salary Faculty FTE/Student Credit Hour Ratio within a Unit
    20 Category 1
    16 Category 2
    12 Category 3
  2. All payments made under the VSP will be subject to federal and state income and employment tax withholding.
  3. This payment will not be treated as earnings for the purpose of making contributions to SURS or any other retirement savings plan.
  4. The VSP is not intended to alter University or UIS policies, including rules related to dismissal for cause and payment of any accrued and unused vacation days upon resignation, except (1) as explicitly stated in this VSP document and (2) that by accepting participation in the VSP, the employee will not be entitled to receive notice of non-reappointment.

V. Release

As a condition of receiving the VSP lump sum payment, a Participant must execute and not revoke a release and waiver of all claims (“Release”) that the Participant has or may have against UIS and the University.  Because Participants will be selected in January 2021 but will continue to work through May 15, 2021, each Participant will be required to sign an initial Release at the time of acceptance in January and then a final Release in May.  This process is designed to comply with applicable employment laws.

VI. Selection Process

The Provost, in consultation with the relevant Dean, will make a determination on each application based upon the following criteria:

  1. Faculty FTE/Student Credit Hour Ratio in the faculty member’s home unit
  2. Operational needs of UIS (e.g., strategic academic program initiatives, investment in student recruitment, etc.)
  3. Budget impact

VII. Nondiscrimination Statement

The University will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, genetic information, marital status, disability, sexual orientation including gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran, and will comply with federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in the University programs and activities.

VIII. Future Employment

In order to realize the program goals, any VSP participant may not seek or accept re-employment at the University, including its Springfield, Chicago, Urbana or System units or any subsidiary entities for a period of twelve months.  Employees participating in the VSP will not be allowed to be rehired in a full-time capacity.

Link to VSP Attachment A – Unit categories

Link to VSP Attachment B – Faculty FTE-Student credit hour ratio

View sample Release

Open VSP online application form

Attend an informational session via Zoom:

Updated 2.8.2021