More than 120 staff take University of Memphis buyout - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

More than 120 staff take University of Memphis buyout

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A group of 125 employees have accepted the University of Memphis buyout offer and will leave by the end of the year.

Assistant vice president for human resources Harriet Montgomery says the group is composed of administrators, clerks and 25 faculty members. Some will leave Dec. 18 and the remainder by Dec. 31.

The buyout option applied to about 2,000 of the school's 2,500 employees and was in place before the state recently announced budget cuts.

Montgomery says this is the first work force reduction of its kind in the school's history.

Friday, students were concerned about the cuts.

"That is definitely something we need to worry about because budget cuts could cause tuition to rise," student Kevin Buckles said.

Vice President of Marketing and Communciations Bob Eoff said tuition hikes are not in the university's plans, but buyouts are already underway. 

"Over the past year the university has now cut about 12 million dollars from our operating base budget," he said.

But staff cuts alone weren't enough to cut $4 million by this fall, as requested by the Governor and the State Board of Regents.  Eoff says they'll be looking for every way to cut costs.

With fewer staff members classes may get slightly larger as in the fall when classes are consolidated, but university officials say for now, students will hardly notice most of the ways the university is saving money.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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