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Penn State announces plans for centralized administration at some campuses, as employee buyouts take effect

Penn State campuses regional groups
Penn State
Penn State is centralizing administration at some of its Commonwealth Campuses, under plans being implemented in 2024.

Close to 400 Penn State employees took the buyout offer the university made earlier this year as part of its efforts to cut costs at its Commonwealth Campuses, according to a news release, which also outlines the university's plans for shared regional administrations.

According to the university, about 77% of the 383 employees who took Penn State’s offer are staff, not faculty.

About 21% of those who were eligible opted in. The university says the salaries and benefits of those employees add up to $43 million. The administration won’t know how much that will mean in savings until later in the year when it’s decided which positions will be refilled.

About half of the staff and three-quarters of the faculty who took the buyout will be leaving at the end of June.

The buyout or Voluntary Separation Incentive Program includes 12 months’ salary and subsidized health benefits for six months.

The employee buyout is part of an overhaul of the campuses and their programs. It comes as most have been seeing declining enrollment.

“We knew we had to lower personnel costs, and the VSIP allowed us to do so in a way that we felt would be as compassionate as possible, putting decisions in employees’ hands while presenting opportunities for the University to transform its operations,” said Tracy Langkilde, interim executive vice president and provost. “We must find ways to be more efficient in using the university’s limited resources while continuing to deliver on our land-grant mission to create new knowledge and lift up students from across the commonwealth and beyond through higher education. The VSIP helped us do that, and it has presented an opportunity to reconfigure our operations across our campuses to make each Penn State campus stronger and more viable.”

The university is also centralizing the administration for many of its campuses — creating four regions. Each will be led by a single administration.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.