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The University of Missouri's faculty purchase program could destroy some departments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Members of The faculty of the University of Missouri express concern that the system's decision to offer purchases to its senior professors could leave some academic departments shattered.

The university system recently notified full-time faculty members with more than 62 years of an option to receive a payment of 1.5 times their annual salary, up to $ 200,000, effective September 1, 2019. Eligible faculty in Kansas City, Columbia The Rolla and St. Louis campuses must have worked in the system for at least five years.

University system spokesman Christian Basi told the Kansas City Star that the purchase program will save money, allow more raises and serve as a way to "thank high-level professors for their contributions to the university."
But Gary Ebersole, a longtime history professor at the Kansas City campus, expressed little confidence in the purchase program

"This is the third purchase of this kind in the 23 years that I've been in the UMKC, "said Ebersole. "In the last round, the whole department of mathematics and statistics of UMKC retired early, and a few months before the new school year, the university had to struggle to offer mathematics and statistics courses."

He said the university ended up having to hire many of the same faculty members

The UMKC officials said they could not confirm a time going back to 1984, when the department of mathematics and statistics had no no full-time faculty.
Law professor Ben Trachtenberg said the university's latest purchase program "worked better in some departments than in others."

"There's no reason for something like this not to work," said Trachtenberg. "Ultimately, it all comes down to how the administration deals with the decisions people make."

The purchase could offer an opportunity for campuses to add diversity to their professors, said Professor Clark Peters, president of the university's faculty council.

"While we're likely to lose some wonderfully experienced teachers, I think there's a feeling that bringing young energy and young scholars is a good thing, they can bring a lot to the table," Peters said.
Information from: The Kansas City Star,

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