A program designed to save Midwestern State University money will result in faculty and staff retiring; some as soon as the end of this spring semester.
The Voluntary Separation Program was offered to faculty and staff members who were eligible for retirements.
While many seniors will be graduating and saying goodbye to the university so will some beloved MSU personnel.
MSU Director of Admissions Barbara Merkle has been at the university for 29 years.
Her success is visible through the many awards that hang in her office but she will be stepping down from her position at the end of the academic year.
"Oh, I love my job," Merkle exclaims. "It's very difficult. It was with a lot of counsel. It's an emotional time but I think I'm ready."
Merkle, along with 27 other faculty and staff, will voluntarily be ending their tenure at the school as part of the Voluntary Separation Program.
"They identified those of us who were eligible for the program and if we agreed to take part in the program, they'll pay us half of our base salary in the next academic year," Merkle says. "It is bittersweet but it's also very exciting because I think this 2013 class will prove students do, still have a strong interest in Midwestern."
Merkle says the program is set up to help the university save money.
While it will be tough to say goodbye, Merkle says she will remain connected with the university and the community.
"I'm excited and there's a lot of professional opportunities still available to me from the organizations that I have been able to be a part of while I've been here at Midwestern," Merkle says.
After retiring, Merkle says she still plans to continue helping students transition from high school to college but first she will be taking a much deserved trip to Italy.
Merkle's last day will be on Aug. 31.
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