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July 12, 2017

UMass Boston says dozens of employees are taking voluntary cash buyouts as the Dorchester campus tries to reduce an annual deficit of at least $10 million.

More than 1,900 employees were eligible for the cash buyouts, but just 50 opted to take them, including nine faculty members.

University workers taking part in the buyout program are entitled to one-time payments ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.

Interim Chancellor Barry Mills says the staffing reduction will trim $4 million in payroll.In a statement released Tuesday, Mills said UMass Boston is academically wealthy but is in financial distress.

“There are hard choices to be made and hard work that lies ahead. We need to right our financial ship, while at the same time maintaining our commitment to students, our mission, and to all of the important things that UMass Boston stands for,” Mills said. “Ultimately, we are going to find our way back to a balanced budget. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen.”

In addition to the buyouts, the university is delaying building projects, proposing canceling classes and reducing part-time professors.

Administrators hope to generate revenue by growing enrollment and expanding online programs.

Sources tell WGBH News that the university expects additional staff reductions.

Related: Can Massachusetts Support Four Public Universities?

confronting cost, higher ed

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