UNLV President Neal Smatresk said faculty layoffs would have been necessary had not the 48 professors quit their jobs.
“I’m thankful that 48 people stepped forward,” he said, noting most of the budget for any university goes to salaries.
The university will pay $7.4 million to the departing professors, but will save almost $5 million a year in salaries, though some of those faculty members will have to be replaced, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The $5 million also does not include benefits.
UNLV is facing budget cuts of about 15 percent, or more than $20 million.
Gregory Brown, a history professor and incoming president of the Faculty Senate, said he is thankful for those who are leaving, but bemoaned the loss of so many talented professors.
He said the fact that UNLV avoided wholesale faculty layoffs is important, not just for those who get to keep their jobs.
“You don’t have this massive process of administrative formalities,” Brown said.
Lois Helmbold, 65, a professor of women’s studies, said she took the buyout because she wouldn’t have stayed many more years anyway.
“The state of Nevada has no regard for education,” Helmbold told the Review-Journal. “I am so completely up to here with academic politics and academic bureaucracy.”
She said budget cuts have “decimated” the women’s studies program.