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Cindy Robinson in the CAPE Office oversees scheduling.

First Meeting (October 31, 2016)

Second Meeting (December 7, 2016)

Third Meeting (December 8, 2016)

Fourth Meeting (February 2, 2017)

First Meeting : October 31, 12:30-2:00, 305 Day Hall


The charge was discussed.

Our discussion indicated that we need clear answers to these questions before proceeding:

What is the difference between being retired  and being emeritus? Emeritus brings a “title”,  allows you to be a Graduate School Professor, and gives access to the $2K/yr allowance. But what else?

A retired faculty member is “active” if he/she is “on the payroll.” To what extent does an  “active” retired faculty member “look like” a non-retired faculty member.

We need policy/guidelines on these “perk” issues:

What happens to your research accounts when you turn emeritus? Full control or control with   chair permission?

Is the five-year 2K allowance an entitlement? Should  left over funds carry over to the next year?

What about office space?

What about voting rights?

We need policy/guidelines on these process issues:

How should the transition to emeritus process be launched and coupled with the decision to retire?

Who should vote on the promotion to emeritus? (Just Fulls? Just Tenured? Fulls +Emeriti? Everybody? etc)

What are the criteria for promotion to emeritus?

What is a “lifetime” CV?

What should be the appeal process? 

We need to fully understand…

The question of emeritus status for senior lecturers and researchers.

The question of criteria and perks for associate professors.

The forces that (motivate) discourage faculty to become emeritus.

The value of the emeritus population and how it is perceived.

What additional resources might do for CAPE.

Need to Produce…

A timeline-type document that fully informs candidates, chairs and deans about the promotion to emeritus process.

A document that clearly spells out the dialog that the candidate must have with the OHR in order to make the right retirement choices.

A document that clearly spells out the dialog that the candidate must have with the Chair so  that there is a clear understanding about the future relationship between the candidate and the department.

Second Meeting: December 7, 8:30-10:00, 305 Day Hall


The main goal of the meeting will be to nail down the entitlements for retired faculty and emeritus faculty. Background for this is here. We also made progress towards developing an HR-related checklist that would guarantee a smooth transition for all retiring faculty.

We had four visitors who helped us though some of the details and issues: CAPE President Ann Lemley, Linda Croll Howell from DHR who studies workforce trends including the transition to emeritus, and Seth Brahler and Alida Smith also from DHR, but who are IT specialists.

As a faculty member, “who you are” is defined by WorkDay system. WorkDay regards you  as “active” if you are on the university payroll. (It has nothing to do with academic activity.) The day you retire WorkDay sees you as retired inactive. If at some point you are hired back (say) to teach a course, then you become retired active.

It was observed that there are really two kinds of emeriti: those who are currently engaged with the university and those who are not. Among those who are engaged, some are getting paid (say to teach a course) and some are not (say volunteering during orientation or within their departments). Should Workday pay attention to this division and if so, how?

Within central HR, the Office of Academic Personnel Policy is the group that interacts with the Provosts Office. Clearly, the Provost Office  needs to know “who you are” from the WorkDay point of view and vice versa.

ID cards are the “passport” to several retired-faculty entitlements. It is important to understand what information is encoded on the magnetic strip and how it is used

  • by the library when you proceed to check out a book or use a resource
  • by transportation services when you visit the Maple Avenue office to get a parking permit
  • by physical education and athletics when you apply to the wellness program or seek admission to an event
  • by TCAT when you ride their buses.

ID cards are handled by the Identity Management group within CIT..

Certain Workday-related things automatically happen “behind the scenes” depending upon your status, e.g., active retired, inactive retired, etc.  It looks like the DoF office (not HR) has to make sure that the relevant offices do the right thing:

  • University Publications: who receives the Chronicle and other online publications?
  • United Way: who receives enrollment emails?
  • Campus Safety: who receives Crime Alerts?
  • Institutional Planning: who is asked to participate in what survey?
Related change-of-employee-status questions:
  • How does CRA acquire retired faculty information? Automatic or must the faculty member take steps?
  • How does CAPE acquire emeritus faculty information? Automatic or must the faculty member take steps?
  • How does CIT acquire information that feeds into the University Directory and how does a faculty member proceed if the posted information is incorrect or incomplete?

A brief discussion of the indemnification issue revealed that there is work to do. Exactly when is a retired faculty member who is engaged in “university business” covered? Examples were given where coverage is ambiguous. And we have to make sure retiring faculty know enough to  ask the right questions about indemnification when they talk with their chairs/directors.

On phased retirement, there are both University guidelines and College guidelines. We have to make this framework clear so that retiring faculty know what they can and cannot ask for.

Regarding online retirement-related documents, the literature is currently scattered and at  times seriously inconsistent. For example, is the 2K/yr reimbursement a perk for all retired faculty or just those with emeritus status? Not clear based on what is online. This has to be fixed. Some policies  need to be “housed” in the OHR website and some with  the DoF website with links all over the place that support back and forth navigation for the retiring faculty member. The big picture is that we have to clean up the Faculty Handbook and its connection to OHR documents like this.


Third Meeting: December 8, 10:00-11:30, 305 Day Hall


The main goal of this meeting will be to figure out what should be the criteria for promotion to emeritus status. Background materials are here.

We teased apart the single “emeritus” sentence that appears in the Faculty Handbook:

Any member of the professional staff who retires after ten years in the tenured rank of university professor, professor, or associate professor and who has rendered distinguished and meritorious service to the university, may be appointed professor emeritus by the provost after recommendation by the members of the particular department and the dean of the college or school faculty to which the retiring member belonged.

For now, we are leaving this alone

Any member of the professional staff who retires after ten years in the tenured rank of university professor, professor, or associate professor

Later we will visit the issue of whether the emeritus modifier should be applicable to other titles.

Instead of

who has rendered distinguished and meritorious service to the university

we felt that it would better to have prose that clarified how one serves the university and which emphasizes the “whole career” e.g.,

whose teaching, research, service, and outreach contributions over the course of their career are distinguished and meritorious.

Consideration of

may be appointed

prompted a discussion about “appointed professor emeritus” versus “promoted to professor emeritus” . There is concern that the latter suggests a procedural analogy to “promotion to associate” and “promotion to full” that we may not want.

The “process” part needs work:

recommendation by the members of the particular department and the dean of the college or school faculty to which the retiring member belonged.

It is understood that the recommendation be based on a department-level review meeting that culminates in a vote. Regarding that process there was consensus that

  1. It should be up to the department to determine who (beyond the tenured faculty) can participate in the review meeting. Categories include the current emeriti, the assistant professors, and the non-tenure track staff.
  2. It should be up to the department to determine who (beyond the tenured faculty) can vote.
  3. The candidate must be made aware of the department’s policy at the outset of all retirement discussions.
  4. The Chair’s letter to the Dean should report the outcome of the vote went within each category of voters.

We also discussed important procedural details. The dossier should include a “lifetime” CV and a cover letter:

(a) Most CVs are “lifetime CVs” but it is particularly important that the document outline achievements over the span of the career. There is no need for excruciating detail–few can remember the number of freshman advisees that they mentored 40 years ago or remember the number of graduate  students that were funded on that first grant.

(b) The cover letter should include (1) the precise retirement date, (2) resource requests that go beyond retired faculty entitlements, and (3) a request to become an emeritus professor.

On the matter of appealing a negative decision we had these thoughts:

(a) If a case appears to be “in trouble”, then the Chair should be encouraged to have a  discussion with the Dean of the College and the Dean of the Faculty if only to make sure that the correct processes are being followed.

(b) If the decision is negative then the Chair’s letter to the dean must discuss the rationale.

(c)  We did not reach consensus on who would actually handle an appeal or how it could play out so more work is required on that.

Fourth Meeting: February 2, 2017, , 10:00-11:00, 305 Day Hall


A preliminary version of the proposed process was edited by  the group.

Should we say “emeritus status” or “emeritus/emerita status” or “emeritus/a status.” An important issue to be resolved later.

Is it “dangerous” to include “administration” in the list of venues where contributions are assessed? Positions like DUS and DGS are explicitly  aligned with the academic mission so no trouble there. But we have to think about this a little more.

The process that we are talking about has nothing to do with benefits or negotiations with the chair. It is strictly about the criteria and process associated with emeritus status. The only “link” is the official letter of intent  that specifies the date of retirement. That letter must be on file before the emeritus proceedings are launched.  It could (in principle) be several years after retiring or (in the case of phased retirement) several years before the date of retirement.

The department chair can “signal” support for emeritus status during negotiations, but cannot say things like “sign off on this office space deal” and you will be given emeritus status.

The who-can-review and who-can-vote groups can be different. The situation is similar to when a department hires a senior faculty member. The whole department is typically involved in the review, but (say) only the full professors vote.

It was decided that in all cases, the full professors should be involved in both review and vote. It is up to the department to expand the group to (possibly) include the emeritus faculty, the associate profs, etc.

Should the Chair convene a special meeting where the case is discussed? On the one hand, it is an overhead that may not be necessary in clear cut cases.  Candidates who are uncomfortable about being evaluated are likely to be even more uncomfortable if having  a meeting is hardwired into  the process. On the other hand, it is a way of ensuring that all viewpoints are heard. An emeritus-related meeting  is also an “event” that gets faculty thinking at the career level and about their own (possibly far in the future) transition process. More to discuss

How to handle the case when the candidate belongs to more than one department? Requiring  each unit to proceed independently  with the process may not make sense. The  consensus view seems to be that the candidate should choose the unit(s) that do the review. Note: the candidate must have retired in all units before the emeritus process is launched. More to discuss.

There is agreement regarding the proposed “low overhead” appeal process. We discussed if “flawed process” should be the only grounds for appeal.  If it is, could there be an appeal based on something  like this:  “there wasn’t enough time in the meeting for all my accomplishments to be evaluated.”  Consensus seems to be that the candidate can bring up  anything  in an appeal. More to discuss.

The next meeting will involve HR and negotiation checklists. Very soon after that we have to reach a stage where we go to the Chairs and Deans for feedback.

Last Updated: February 5, 2017 at 10:50 am