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Radford University is offering certain faculty members the chance to retire early at the end of the current academic year.

Eligible employees have until Dec. 2 to make a decision.

The offer is being made “due to expressed interest among faculty and to increase flexibility in allocating resources,” according to an email sent to faculty by university administration last week.

Interested teaching and research faculty must be 50 or older with at least 15 years of service at the college or a minimum of 15 years in the Virginia Retirement System by May 9, 2020. They also must turn in their application by the end of business on Dec. 2 — and applicants will be notified if they will be accepted by Dec. 16, according to the university.

University spokeswoman Caitlyn Scaggs said Radford does not have a defined monetary or participation goal, nor is there a cap on the number of employees who will be considered for participation in the voluntary program.

Scaggs said exact benefits for faculty vary depending on what retirement package they’ve already chosen. She said the last time a similar program was utilized was the 2008-09 academic year.

“During that time, the program was open to all full-time employee classifications. Records show that a total of 26 teaching and research faculty members applied for and were selected to participate,” Scaggs wrote in an email.

Faculty layoffs also occurred during that academic year after Gov. Tim Kaine cut $6.4 million to the school’s operating budget in an effort to offset a more than $1 billion state budget shortfall.

Scaggs said there are no planned layoffs as part of the current program.

Jake Fox, the university’s Faculty Senate president, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Several faculty members have contacted human resources to learn more about the buyout, but the university will not have a definitive number of applicants until after the deadline, Scaggs said. The program has been discussed for a number of months, she said.

The final working date for individuals selected to participate in this program will be May 9, 2020. Faculty taking advantage of the enhanced retirement benefit will retire June 1, according to the university.

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