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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Editorial Comment: And when the newspapers die. . . .

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USU offers one-time voluntary separation program to save salary dollars in budget

February 13, 2009 | Utah State University is offering new options, from now until March 20, for voluntary separation as it continues to look for creative ways to help address future budget challenges.

Options include a full early retirement program and one-time cash incentive for those between the age of 56 and 60, who are eligible. Another option for those in that age bracket includes extra years on the university’s medical plan, but at a 50 percent higher premium rate on the employee portion only. This insurance bridge addresses the gap in medical coverage early retirees would otherwise experience until Medicare kicks in at age 65.

For employees who are 60 to 65 and eligible for early retirement, this one-time program would provide full early retirement and a one-time cash incentive. For those in that same age group with five-plus years of service, but not eligible for early retirement, this program would provide access to the university’s medical plan until age 65 at a 50 percent higher premium rate.

This incentive program also offers any benefit-eligible employee who voluntarily terminates one week of pay for each full year of service up to $35,000, or voluntary reduction of time. This option is open only to those with one year of university employment or more.

The March 20 end date of this offer is final. No deadline extensions will be permitted or late applications accepted, said BrandE Faupell, executive director of USU Human Resources.

Future access to early or phased retirement will be severely restricted and will not include cash or other incentives," Faupell said. "The future of the existing early or phased retirement programs is uncertain once this window closes."


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