Dignity in Retirement
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran three columns exploring the issue of faculty retirements. “The forever professors” suggested that senior faculty have an obligation to retire. “Ageism in academe” countered that many professors are as productive, if not more, as they get older. The third column, “Dignity in retirement is not too much to ask,” co-written by AROHE Executive Director Janette Brown, AROHE President Sue Barnes and Chronicle columnist David Perlmutter, suggests that providing opportunities for faculty to continue their engagement in retirement is mutually beneficial to academic institutions as well as emeriti.
The last paragraph of the “dignity” column states, “Despite many problems, our system of higher education continues to be a global model. Yet whenever we boast about a "great" university or college, we should always remember that that greatness—in teaching, research, service, and public engagement—was achieved in large part through the creativity, diligence, and hard work of faculty members. They are owed more than a handshake and medical benefits. They should be able to retire and yet still serve the cause of knowledge discovery, creation, and dissemination in ways that are productive and valued.”
While these columns focus on faculty retirements, AROHE is working to re-envision retirement for both faculty and staff. AROHE member organizations are working diligently to facilitate opportunities for retirees to contribute to their campuses and society as a whole.
The topic of retirement continues to stimulate much conversation at the Chronicle of Higher Education. See: