To the Editor,
Contrary to what Jodi Wei ’20 reports in her article (“Investigation: Corporatizing our community—Financial anxiety at Wellesley College,” April 11, 2018), faculty and staff members who were eligible for the College’s Voluntary Retirement Program (VRP) all received the same offer. Each faculty and staff member received personalized materials based on his or her individual, private financial information. Faculty and staff did not undertake individual negotiations regarding the terms of the offer.
From the outset, the College’s highest priority has been to maintain the integrity and quality of the academic program. Eligible community members understood that after all election decisions were made, the Office of the Provost would review faculty elections in the context of each department or program’s needs and reserved the right to ask some individual faculty members to work beyond July 1, 2018. As a result, several faculty members were asked, and agreed, to continue their work at the College for up to an additional year.
We reiterate that, unlike the situation at Wellesley in 2009, layoffs were not a part of this VRP. We offered the VRP to help the College adjust its operating budget to ensure long-term sustainability. The VRP was successful, and in fact more faculty and staff members elected to retire than we had anticipated. That has significantly helped us move toward a more balanced budget outlook for next year and the years ahead.
We approach our future from a position of fundamental strength, as the leading college for educating women who will make a difference. As the College moves forward, we will remain focused on the outstanding education Wellesley provides, now and for future generations of students.
Chief Communications Officer