The Faculty Buyout Program: Organizational vs. Individual Perspectives


  • Thomas Miller University of Memphis


academic administration, fairness, ethics, incentives


Like many colleges and universities across the country, Ivy State University, a large comprehensive institution in the Southeast, had faced severe budget challenges in recent years. In one of the University s efforts to address budget reductions, employee buyout plans were introduced to meet immediate budget reduction targets and provide greater flexibility to the institution to adapt to new environmental and competitive challenges. The new buyout plan offered a substantial severance payment to eligible tenured faculty members who agreed to give up their positions at the end of the academic year.

Dr. Fred Summers, Chair of the Management Department, had recommended two faculty members in his unit, Drs. Al Bratton and Leonard Jenkins, for the buyout program. Although Jenkins was accepted for the buyout plan, Bratton was not. Bratton was very upset and met with Summers to express his dissatisfaction with the decision. Vowing to appeal his rejection for the buyout, Jenkins claimed the action was unjust and insulting to him as a loyal and productive faculty member who had long served the University.