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>  News Releases >   2008 >   December

Dartmouth announces voluntary retirement incentive option

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 12/12/08 • Media Contact: Roland Adams • (603) 646-3661 

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Dartmouth College staff members age 55 and older, with 10 years of continuous service, were notified today of a new, voluntary incentive program under which they can choose to retire between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2009 on a date mutually agreed upon with the individual’s supervisor. 

Employees eligible for the plan have until Jan. 16 to make a decision on whether or not to accept the offer. Those who choose to do so will receive a payment equal to an additional six months of salary or wages beyond the date they end their Dartmouth employment, less required deductions.

Preliminary figures from the latest annual count of Dartmouth faculty and staff show that the institution has a total of slightly more than 3,300 staff positions (full-time plus part-time) institution-wide including those in its three professional schools: Dartmouth Medical School, the Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business. Tenured faculty have a separate retirement plan, so the retirement incentive program does not apply to that group.

"This option is completely voluntary," said Traci Nordberg, Dartmouth’s Chief Human Resources Officer. She noted that Dartmouth employees suggested that Dartmouth implement such a plan as one way to help reduce institutional expenses in an effort to meet current financial challenges.

The worldwide economic downturn has had a significant impact on financial resources at Dartmouth and other colleges and universities nationwide. The value of Dartmouth’s endowment dropped 6 percent (or $262 million) during the last quarter, to an ending value of $3.39 billion as of Sept. 30. More than a third of the College's $420 million operating budget (excluding grants) is supported by distributions from the endowment.

President James Wright announced in November that Provost Barry Scherr and Executive Vice President for Administration Adam Keller will lead a consultative process to cut projected institutional expenditures by up to 10 percent, or $40 million, over the College’s next two fiscal years. The College also announced in November that attrition was unlikely to be sufficient to bring expenses in line with reduced revenues.

Details of the new program were presented to all employees by email today. Keller and Scherr presented an overview of how the College will pursue its cost-reduction effort, including mention of the retirement incentive plan, at an Employee Forum on Thursday.

Dartmouth announced initial cost control measures in November, including:

  • An external hiring freeze on hiring for staff positions, meaning that open positions should be filled first by internal candidates to the extent possible. "The College may have to replace some of the retiring employees," Nordberg said. "More positions may open up for our internal candidates as some employees choose the early-retirement option."
  • A decision to defer the full renovation of the West Stands of Memorial Field, home of the Dartmouth track and football programs. The College will address immediate maintenance needs before next fall’s season. Other facilities projects may be completed, delayed or deferred depending on circumstances.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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