The Illinois legislature passed a restructuring of state pensions that doesn't satisfy anybody, and likely faces a legal challenge or so.  (That's the nature of compromise.)  Headquarters fears that less generous pensions will hamper recruiting efforts.
The university and some local politicians think the bill will also damage NIU’s ability to lure in and retain faculty — something it already struggled with amid pension woes — because it changes employee benefits, potentially sending faculty looking for out-of-state jobs with better pension packages.
That is, if we're actually authorized to recruit. This year, headquarters might authorize searches in the event of tenure denials, but no such authorization is forthcoming in the case of retirements. But pension clawbacks have to be weighed against a background of pay packages and job descriptions that are not competitive with institutions we recruit against, and in light of a pay-raise policy that compels people who stay active to seek external offers, and perhaps that will bring forth a counter-offer. "NIU has had 42 percent turnover in four years, double the normal level for a university." Some proportion of that is people who have reached their maximum benefit and chose to retire. At least some of that is a consequence of faculty receiving outside offers.

No comments: