Humboldt State University is offering a one-time Early Exit Program as part of efforts to reduce the size of its workforce and balance its budget. The incentive is specific to the campus and not part of a CSU program.
The effort is intended to reduce the University’s ongoing expenses, shrink the workforce to match projected enrollment declines, and minimize layoffs. It was crafted after consultation with employee unions and other campus groups.
More than 300 employees are potentially eligible, and $5 million in reserves and salary savings has been allocated to fund the program.
The Early Exit Program allows the University to positively address a workforce reduction by absorbing a one-time expense in order to reduce its ongoing budget. At the same time, it opens up the possibility of avoiding layoffs while still reducing the size of the workforce. Positions would be eliminated or factored into a staffing reorganization as a result, but fewer individuals will be impacted than in a scenario more reliant on layoffs.
To be eligible, employees must be state-side permanent employees or full-time faculty members on three-year contracts, eligible to retire through CalPERS, and have at least one year of service at HSU. Faculty members may not jointly take advantage of FERP.
The program offers a payment of six month’s salary, with a minimum payment of $25,000 and a maximum of $70,000. The employee must separate from the University by the timelines outlined in the guidelines, which has some flexibility at the discretion of appropriate administrators. HSU will not provide additional service credit or similar benefits that are the purview of CalPERS. Humboldt State is currently seeking to address a projected deficit of $20 million over the next two to three years, the result of enrollment declines in recent years as well as expected budget and enrollment impacts from the pandemic. That deficit could rise depending on state and federal funding decisions in the coming months and years.
More information is available on the Early Exit Program webpage.