The University of Kentucky will lose 26 faculty members out of the 170 to whom it offered incentives to retire.
There is still a seven-day recision period during which potential retirees are allowed to change their minds, UK Provost Kumble Subbaswamy said, and some applications may have been mailed at the last minute.
In early February, UK offered tenured faculty members who are 65 or older and have at least 15 years of continuous service a one-time payment of half their base salary, with a salary cap of $150,000. The deadline was April 11, and faculty who apply for the deal must retire by Dec. 31.
Subbaswamy said the program was a way to help faculty members who wanted to retire take that step. Several faculty members had described the incentive program as weak and unlikely to tip the scales for faculty members who were undecided on retiring.
Still, Subbaswamy said he was pleased by the 26 faculty members who accepted.
"We were expecting maybe 30, 35," he said. "We were trying to help those who were thinking about retirement and couldn't do it because of the financial hit make it through."
University officials have said that they were not projecting any savings with the program and would fill vacancies only in areas where that is needed.
The greatest number of faculty members taking the offer are in the College of Agriculture, which will lose eight faculty members. The College of Arts and Science will lose five, and the College of Nursingwill lose three. Overall, retirees will come from 10 colleges.
Scott Smith, dean of the agriculture college, which has around 250 faculty members, said that the eight retirements "is not an extraordinary hit."
"It was not unexpected," he said.
But he also hopes to be able to replace departing faculty members.
"Certainly any downsizing of the faculty that would be long-term would be a matter of concern," Smith said.
Subbaswamy said that UK made it clear that the incentive program is a one-time deal and will not be repeated.