Southeast Missouri State University is offering employees a second voluntary buyout plan in three years.
The Southeast Missourian reports 54 applicants have been approved to participate and are completing paperwork to officially join the program.
The university in Cape Girardeau offered a similar program in 2017. The new program offers 40 percent of a faculty member's base pay as incentive to participate, compared with 35 percent in the first buyout.
Vice president for finance and administration Kathy Mangels said the university didn't intend to offer a second buyout but continuing budget challenges made it necessary.
She said the 2017 program has saved the university $1.5 million through salary and benefit savings and the elimination of some vacant positions. The total savings isn't known yet because the last group of employees just retired in December.