Employee retirements on the rise

Retirement reception for Nancy Feinberg

Barbara Henley, vice chancellor for student affairs (left), honors Nancy Fineberg, director of the Children’s Center, at Fineberg’s retirement party June 29. More than 1,100 U of I employees have retired since January.
Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

The University of Illinois has already seen a 50 percent increase in employee retirements so far this calendar year as compared to last, President Bob Easter told trustees Thursday.

Since January, more than 1,100 U of I employees have retired, Easter said at the Board of Trustees meeting in Student Center West. By comparison, 726 employees retired during the entire 2011 calendar year, he said.

Retirements also jumped significantly this month, Easter reported. Ninety-one employees retired in July 2009; almost 550 are retiring in July 2012.

“There are very significant changes occurring within our workforce that will cause us to miss people in their capacities,” Easter said.

Uncertainty over changes to the state pension system has likely been a factor in the rise in retirements, Easter said. The General Assembly’s spring session ended in May 31 without a decision on pension changes for state employees.

The university’s state appropriation for fiscal year 2013 was cut by about 42.5 million, a 6 percent decrease that was “anticipated and planned for,” Easter said.

For fiscal year 2013, which began July 1, UIC’s state appropriation was reduced by about $15 million. Total state appropriations for the university are $612 million; UIC’s share is $218 million.

The state still owes the university $207 million for fiscal year 2012. The state comptroller’s office has said it expects to pay the balance by November, said Walter Knorr, university vice president and chief financial officer.

In other business:
• Student trustees took their seats at the board after beginning their terms July 1. UIC student trustee Kenneth Thomas was re-elected for a second term. Other student trustees are David Pileski (UIUC) and John Tienken (UIS). Tienken will have the student vote.

“Student perspective is critical as the board weighs decisions that will affect their academic future and the generations of students who will follow them,” Easter said. “I’m deeply grateful for their insights and their willingness to serve.”

• The board approved the appointments of Mitra Dutta, vice chancellor for research, Astrida Orle Tantillo, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Michael B. Mikhail, dean of the College of Business Administration.

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Campus, Staff