Faculty Retirement

Under federal law, a faculty member is not required to retire based on the faculty member’s age. Ordinarily a faculty member makes his/her own decision to retire, based on personal circumstances. Helpful information for advance planning is available through the Office of Human Resources. Sufficient notice to allow departments to adjust their teaching schedules is expected, unless circumstances beyond the control of the faculty member occur.

Occasionally, for special situations of mutual benefit both to the University and the faculty member, a legally binding retirement agreement is negotiated in which a faculty member gives up his or her position in return for some other benefit, for example, transitional leave or part-time employment. An example of a corresponding benefit to the University might be the ability to open a new position for needed hiring. Authorization for exploration of such possible agreements is given by the appropriate provost, after consultation with the faculty member’s dean and department chair. Since any such arrangement is based on mutual agreement, both the faculty member and the University have the right to indicate disinterest in pursuing such discussions at any point. Such agreements are proposed only for special situations of significant benefit to the University. They are neither expected nor routine.

A. Post-retirement Employment

Employment after retirement is permitted on an annual basis, generally on a reduced workload. Such employment must be recommended by the appropriate department chair and dean, and approved by the provost. A faculty member employed after retirement may not serve as chair of a department or on policy-making committees of departments, faculties, or other University bodies. A faculty member employed after retirement will be paid a salary commensurate with his/her University assignments.

B. Emeritus Status

Emeritus is a status of honor and esteem at Boston University, associated with an invitation to continue collegial relationships after retirement. Faculty members (whether Tenured or Non-Tenure-Track) who have served on the faculty of Boston University for at least ten years are eligible to be considered for Emeritus status upon retirement. Retired faculty members with Emeritus status retain their title at the highest rank achieved, modified by the incorporation of the Emeritus designation. The granting of Emeritus status is first considered by the faculty of the department, or by the appropriate unit for faculty appointments and promotions  in schools or colleges without departments. The recommendation to award Emeritus status is transmitted to the dean, who has the authority to grant the change in status, as of September, 2011.

While emeritus faculty members may continue their productive life within the University, the basis of such continued participation shall be determined by each School and College through its faculty and dean. An emeritus faculty member may not serve as chair of a department or as a member of a policy-making committee. An emeritus faculty member may be employed by the University at a rate of compensation appropriate to the assigned responsibilities.

Adopted April 18, 2007, by the University Council.