Procedures for Requesting Emeritus/Emerita Status for Faculty


From the University 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 [emerita] 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.

Faculty Meeting

The retiring faculty member can let their chair know they would like to be considered for emeritus/emerita status or the chair can discuss it with the faculty member as part of the retirement conversation, including whether the faculty member would like the appointment on a statutory or endowed line. Requests can be considered either before or after retirement, though requests should not be put forth greater than six months prior to retirement. The retiring faculty member should provide the chair with a lifetime cv and a cover letter of request that includes the date of retirement and the preferred title (professor emeritus or professor emerita). The chair should hold a faculty meeting of appropriate tenured faculty and other emeriti faculty members to discuss the recommendation. If the candidate is a full professor, the recommendation is reviewed and voted upon by the full professors and the emeriti faculty; if the candidate is an associate professor, the recommendation is reviewed and voted upon by the tenured professors and the emeriti faculty. A vote must be taken, either at or after the meeting (e.g., by email). Detailed justification for each vote is not required.

Letter to the Senior Associate Dean

If the unit's vote is positive, the chair should submit a detailed letter to their senior associate dean requesting consideration of emeritus/emerita status for the candidate. The letter should include the candidate’s retirement date and a brief background on contributions to the unit and field of specialty over the course of their career. The letter should also give the results of the faculty vote including the number of votes in favor or against, with abstentions noted. Mention of anticipated future involvement at the unit, college and university level may be included, but is not required. For female faculty, a request can be made for emeritus or emerita designation, though the CALS-preferred title for female professor emeriti is 'professor emerita'. A copy of the lifetime CV and candidate's cover letter should be sent with the chair's letter. Letters and CV’s can be sent by email attachment. Letters to the senior associate dean should be on letterhead and signed by the chair as they become part of the formal request to the provost’s office.

If the vote is negative, the chair should consult with their senior associate dean regarding next steps.

What Happens Next

The senior associate dean reviews the recommendation submitted by the chair of the unit. After a positive recommendation from the senior associate dean, the materials provided by the chair are sent to the provost along with a cover letter from the senior associate dean to recommend the faculty member for emeritus/emerita status.

After a positive decision by the provost, the senior associate dean will notify the chair of the approval, to be shared with the faculty member. A congratulatory letter from the president will be sent to the faculty member.

The university faculty pages discussing emeriti appointments are found here: