Commenting to my post on returning retirees in RI’s public higher ed system, Steve appears to have inside information:
Justin, I’d like to clarify something, if I may. No one has “eased back into their old positions.” The staff that retired and were brought back have returned on a part-time basis. No one is working 40 hours weeks. They are working fewer hours and being paid at an hourly rate. They are not on salary.
(Incidentally, of the 44 retirees who have returned on a part-time basis, 21 are staff and 23 are adjunct faculty being paid $3,000-$4,000 on a per course basis.)
For example, the director of institutional research at RI College returned after retiring and is now working part-time as a consultant. Institutional research was a one-professional department at RIC. (That is the case with many departments; our ranks are painfully thin.)
Without the director’s return, part-time, RIC would have no institutional research capacity at all. It made more sense to bring her back on a part-time basis than it did to hire a full-time IR professional and pay salary, benefits, contribution to retirement plan, etc. That would have cost upwards of $80k at a minimum.
Know, too, that what the institutions are trying to achieve here is being able to cope with $30 million in budget cuts over the last calendar year and still provide the necessary services for students who are paying tuition to attend their institutions.
Since the retirement program is private, and nobody returns full-time, and the system stands to realize substantial saving, it appears that I reacted too quickly characterizing this story as in line with, say, a judge who manages, via retirement, to take home more public money for less work and responsibility.
Thanks to those who persuaded me of my error calmly.