College structures offices for efficiency

On June 30, 47 College staff members retired under a one-time voluntary Early Retirement Program (ERP), an initiative intended to reduce spending over several years. Among these staff members were Jo Procter, former associate director of Public Affairs, and Jean Thorndike, former director of Campus Safety and Security. Twelve Facilities staff took part in the ERP, as did nine from Dining Services. In tandem with these departures, College administrators are restructuring a number of departments.

The 47 staff members were feted at a retirement dinner at Mount Hope on June 8. In addition to maintaining their benefits until age 65, as under the regular early retirement terms, they received a financial incentive equivalent to two weeks of pay for each year of service completed at the College.

The seven faculty members who are participating in the ERP will retire on June 30, 2012, as the curriculum is set in place one or two years in advance (“Retirement incentive program announced,” March 17). For faculty, the ERP offered wider age eligibility and greater flexibility than the regular early retirement terms.

Apart from cutting costs, the ERP also aimed to streamline College operations. “The ERP created an opportunity to focus on staffing and operational redesign,” said Martha Tetrault, director of Human Resources. “We are still in the midst of working through this and will be for the next few months as the changes take shape.”

According to Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for Public Affairs, “a high percentage” of offices will be affected by the administrative shuffle.

Consequently, the full financial impact of the program remains to be seen. “Because of reorganization and re-staffing discussions, it’ll be quite a few months before there’s a clear handle on the annual savings realized by the program,” Kolesar said. “But based on some assumptions it seems likely that in the end they’ll be in the low seven figures.”

As administrators continue to