Retirement incentive plan clears regents

With the state Board of Regents' approval Wednesday afternoon, the window for Iowa State's retirement incentive plan will open Monday, Aug. 3. Eligible employees have until March 1, 2021, to express their interest in participating and until June 30 to retire from the university.

The retirement incentive option is a voluntary program and part of a broader university strategy to trim budgets in the face of reduced state appropriations and tuition revenue.

University leaders estimate that up to 1,200 employees could meet the basic eligibility requirements: a rule of 70 (combination of age and continuous university service), and at least 60 years old on their retirement day. They can't have been previously approved for another ISU retirement program.

Program participants actually would choose from three incentives:

  • Two years of monthly employer's retirement contributions, plus health and dental coverage (employer and employee costs) up to the self and spouse/partner level
  • Three years of retirement contributions
  • Three years of health and dental coverage

President's salary

At her request, from Aug. 1 to June 30, 2021, President Wendy Wintersteen's salary will be reduced $59,000, or 10% of her annual salary as of Nov. 20, 2019. This, too, is part of budget-cutting measures.

Board president Mike Richards thanked Wintersteen and other leaders in the regents system who willl take salary reductions for their unselfish decisions.

"One key aspect of leadership is to let your organization know 'we're all in this together.' Our leaders, on the academic as well as the athletic side, have shown the willingness to make significant personal sacrifices for the betterment of our staff and students," Richards said. "I want to thank each one of them personally for their sacrifice. Everything we can do in this pandemic makes a difference."

Other ISU items

In other business, the board approved appointments for these ISU leaders:

  • Pam Elliott Cain, senior vice president for operations and finance, effective Aug. 1
  • Toyia Younger, senior vice president for student affairs, Aug. 17
  • Kristen Constant, vice president for information technology services and chief information officer, Aug. 1
  • Kristi Darr, vice president for university human resources, Aug. 1

The board also approved an Iowa State bond sale for $22.99 million of academic building revenue refunding bonds to refund the 2021-35 maturities of $28.2 million of bonds sold in 2010 to partially finance two projects: Hach Hall and the College of Veterinary Medicine small animal hospital renovation and addition. Lower interest rates today will save the university an estimated $5.6 million.