In April, the Montana legislature appropriated two million dollars to help the Montana University system downsize and bring the number of professors in line with enrollment. The system focused on the University of Montana first and has offered buyout packages to tenured faculty age 65 and above. Then a second round hit, with offers to those age 60 and above. According to Montana University System Spokesman Kevin McRae about 20 professors are expected to accept one of the two buyout offers.

"The total expenditure will be about $800,000, so for those 20 faculty, we will spend about $800,000 of that 2 million, but, probably more importantly, we'll remove about $1.6 million average salary obligation from the books."

The offer so far, has been half of a year’s salary for those who agree to retire, soon, the regents will have to figure out what to do with the rest of the funding.

"Whether we should go for a third round and look below the age of 60, or whether we should now start to look at other institutions that are similarly situated in Montana, and there are some, like Montana State University Billings, could probably achieve some savings and has some conditions that are right for this kind of a program."

McRae says they will have more information in about a week and a half when the second round of buyout offers at UM wraps up.

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