UM Buyout Offer Decision is ‘Excruciating’ and ‘Heart-Wrenching,’ Says Professor
48 University of Montana professors over the age of 65 were offered buyout packages in hopes that they would retire early and help the university save around four million dollars. French Professor Michel Valentin is one of the recipients of the buyout offer and explains what it looks like.
"If you take that offer, you will retire in mid-July and they will give you half of your yearly salary minus taxes, which is a lot," Valentin said. "Some people say that the buy-out offer is a lot, but I've heard through the grapevine that it's not that much money for a buyout. It shows that they are desperate, they want to literally cut the work force."
Valentin says he has more than just money to consider. He was scheduled to teach a class on West African film and already has students expecting to take it, however, now he feels his absence may cause long-term harm to French studies in Montana.
"If I let go, if I'm not there, I won't be replaced and no one will teach this class, etcetera, it's excruciating, it's heart-wrenching, and then French section will lose one faculty a full position," Valentin said. "Will we be able to keep the accreditation in the future with less faculty? With less higher division classes? It is not a pleasant place to be in right now... I'm conflicted."
Valentin says he is seriously considering the buyout offer, but says he has heard many of his fellows have already decided to reject the offer. A decision must be reached before mid July.