BURLINGTON, Vt. – The half-million-dollar severance package given to the University of Vermont’s outgoing president drew sharp criticism Wednesday from the union representing faculty at the Burlington campus, as well as more oblique barbs from Gov. Peter Shumlin.

United Academics, which represents 800 full and part-time faculty at UVM, said the school’s board of trustees should be “ashamed and embarrassed” to pay President Dan Fogel $27,000 a month, plus additional benefits, after he leaves office Monday. The 17-month term of the package will bring its value to more than $500,000.

After a break, he’ll rejoin the university in January 2013 as an English professor and be paid $195,000 a year, $80,000 more than anyone in that department now receives.

United Academics President David Shiman wrote in a letter to the trustees that the union is “dismayed and profoundly disappointed” by Fogel’s compensation package. Shiman noted that non-union staffers have been told they will receive no salary increase next year, and that service and maintenance staff have gone to impasse over a proposed 0.5 percent salary increase.

Shumlin, a member of the trustees by virtue of his role as governor, told a news conference Wednesday that he has a broad concern about the rising cost of a college education, saying the trend was hurting the state’s ability to train its work force.

“Whenever you have expenses at a university that look more like corporate America than the academic America that we used to know, I think you’ve got a challenge,” Shumlin said. “You don’t go into academia … to make money. You go into it to make a decent living and inspire a new generation of thinkers.”

UVM is one of the most expensive public universities in the country. Tuition and other costs for Vermont residents will go up more than $1,300 this fall, to $27,558, though university spokesman Enrique Corredera said most Vermonters get financial aid and a third pay no tuition at all.