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Procedures for Requesting Emeritus/Emerita Status for Tenure-track 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 Vote

The retiring faculty member can let their chair/director know they would like to be considered for emeritus/emerita status, and/or the chair/director can discuss it with the faculty member as part of the retirement conversation. Requests can be considered either before or after retirement, but requests should not be put forward more than six months prior to retirement. The retiring faculty member should provide the chair/director with 1) a lifetime CV, and 2) a letter requesting emeritus/a status including the date of retirement, the preferred title (professor emeritus or professor emerita), and their preference between a statutory or endowed emeriti appointment. The advantage of one or the other can be discussed with your administrative manager. In general, for faculty who anticipate the need to allocate effort, and be paid for effort on federal grants in retirement, the use of the endowed emeritus/emerita appointment is preferred. For faculty who anticipate the need to allocate effort and be paid for effort on NYS funds, or who may be returning to teach in retirement, the use of the statutory emeritus/emerita appointment is preferred.

Discussion at a formal faculty meeting is not required. If the candidate is a full professor, the request is reviewed and voted upon by the full professors and the emeriti faculty; if the candidate is an associate professor, the request is reviewed and voted upon by the tenured professors and the emeriti faculty. A vote must be taken (e.g., by email). A detailed justification for each vote is not required.

Letter to the Senior Associate Dean

If the unit's vote is positive, the chair/director 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 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. The letter should also include the retiree's decision on whether they would prefer the emeriti appointment to be on an endowed or statutory line. A copy of the lifetime CV and candidate's cover letter should be sent with the chair/director'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/director as they are part of the formal request to the provost’s office.

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

What Happens Next

The senior associate dean reviews the recommendation submitted by the chair/director of the unit. After a positive recommendation from the senior associate dean, the materials provided by the chair/director 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/director of the approval, which the chair/director should share with the faculty member. A congratulatory letter from the president will be sent to the faculty member. Any negative decisions will be discussed with the chair/director.

The university faculty pages discussing emeriti appointments are found here: