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Keene State calls buyout a success as 55 staff, faculty take college's offer

Sunday News Correspondent

February 17. 2018 11:12PM

KEENE - Keene State College has closed its voluntary separation program for staff and faculty, reducing its employee count by 10 percent.

The buyouts were part of a multi-measure effort to balance the college's budget this year and next.

Interim President Melinda Treadwell said Friday the program was successful and all applicants - 44 staff members and 11 faculty members - were accepted.

Thirty staff members will leave the college immediately, with the 14 other staff members and 11 faculty members leaving in the coming months. Faculty will complete the educational years and leave between July and August, Treadwell said.

A farewell party last Friday afternoon was "bitter-sweet," Treadwell said. The party focused on the 30 employees who are leaving immediately.

"They are feeling not only a joy, but a gratitude for this. It's very bittersweet, and now we're working forward as a community, which is great," Treadwell said.

The 55 departing staff and faculty represent about 10 percent of the college's 554 employees.

Treadwell said that based on expected fall enrollment Keene State has balanced its 2019 fiscal budget and does not anticipate any layoffs in the immediate future.

"We are balanced for this year, and right now our budget for FY 19 is balanced," Treadwell said. "We've hit our targets."

Treadwell said fall enrollment is estimated to be the same as this year's, with a 950-member freshmen class.

The college is still assessing each department to find where resources or skills can be shared, Treadwell said.

Keene State is also saying goodbye to 11 faculty members who will take advantage of a long-standing early retirement program and leave in June.

With 22 faculty leaving, Treadwell said, Keene State is looking to fill seven faculty positions.

In November, Treadwell announced a financial restructuring of the college that would first offer the voluntary separation plans as a means of cutting staff and faculty.

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