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College of Arts & Sciences

Early Retirement Policy


The purpose of this document is to clarify the CAS early retirement (ER) policy and associated procedures. This policy is in concordance with the Faculty Handbook (FH; September 2018) and has been reviewed and approved by the Provost’s Office.

Early retirement is negotiated by a faculty member with a department chair following retirement and is subject to final approval by the Dean or his/her designee. Any ER plan must meet the needs of the department, first and foremost, with what is desirable for the faculty member an important, but secondary consideration. As per FH (III.R.1), the general expectation during early retirement is that the faculty member will be permitted to work the equivalent of one-third of the department’s annual teaching load for one-third of their annual base salary.

Important points to note: (1) The faculty member’s T:R:S distribution at the time of retirement is immaterial to the ER plan. A new T:R:S distribution is negotiated as part of the ER process. (2) There is no uniform university-level ER policy. The FH specifies general guidelines only. Every department within CAS is distinctive in its norms and expectations of faculty. Thus, the ER policy is individualistic and subject to the norms and needs of both the department and the college.

EXAMPLE-1: A faculty member who retires, and elects only to teach during retirement, effectively adopts a T:R:S of 100:0:0. In this case, the departmental standard for such a situation might likely be a teaching load of 4:4, or 8 courses per year. Thus, during early retirement, the faculty member would be expected to teach 1/3 of 8 courses (or, since 8 is not divisible by 3 to a whole number, 8 courses over a 3-year period).

EXAMPLE-2: a faculty member who adopts an ER T:R:S workload of 80:0:20. In this situation, the standard departmental teaching load might be 3:3, or 6 courses per year, along with substantive service assignments and/or advising responsibilities. During ER, the faculty member would be expected to teach 1/3 of 6 courses, or 2 courses per year; thus, over a 3-year period, the teaching load would be 2:2:2.

EXAMPLE-3: a faculty member who adopts an ER T:R:S workload of 40:40:20 effectively plans to continue teaching, conducting research, and meeting departmental service needs. If the departmental teaching load under this T:R:S scheme is 2:2, or 4 courses per year, then the ER faculty member would be expected to teach 1/3 of 4 courses per year, or 4 courses over a 3-year period (in addition to their research and service expectations).

NOTE: Where the number of courses varies per year over a multi-year sequence, the larger number of courses should be taught in the first year. For example, if 4 courses are to be taught over 3 years, the distribution should be 2:1:1. To accommodate faculty needs, this could be modified to 1:2:1 in the first cycle and return to a 2:1:1 sequence in a subsequent cycle. Workload plans should not exceed age 70 of the ER faculty member.

In sum, any workload can be adopted as part of an ER-plan. However, ER faculty will have their teaching, research, and service (as applicable) reviewed annually, covering all duties specified in their agreement and in accordance with departmental procedures (FH, sect. III.R.3.). Should a faculty member fail to meet expectations at the end of each year, a new workload plan will need to be negotiated.

Once an agreement has been reached on the teaching (and/or research & service) between the department chair and ER faculty member, the ER form and workload plan should be submitted to the Director of Administration (currently Kendall Brown-Clovis) for an eligibility and salary review. Any ER form not accompanied by a detailed workload agreement will be returned to the applicant. Forms will subsequently be reviewed for procedural aspects (workload assessment) by the Associate Dean for Faculty, Research and Graduate Studies (currently Brian McCarthy). Forms will then be submitted to the Dean for his/her approval. No ER plan is permissible without the expressed approval and signature of the Dean. Following dean approval, the materials are submitted to the Provost for final review.

Due to provisions of the Affordable Care Act, early retirees both qualify for and must be offered healthcare benefits, assuming they had an average FTE of at least 0.75 for the 12 months preceding retirement. If the faculty member does not take a 26 week break prior to resuming service, the college will accrue unnecessary benefit costs. Thus, we strongly encourage early retirees to plan for a 26 week break prior to resuming service (e.g., early retirement to begin 1-JAN, with spring term and summer off, and a return to service in the following fall term). Any exception to the 26-week break in service rule must be approved by the Dean.

Early Retirement Procedures

  • Faculty member discusses ER plan, including a detailed workload plan with department chair.
  • Upon agreement between the faculty member and the chair, the chair documents the proposed workload plan via a letter to the Dean. The letter should include details of workload semester-by-semester for the entire period (i.e., course numbers, title, credit hours, specific service responsibilities, research plans, etc.).
  • Chair then forwards the Early Retirement Agreement Form and Letter with Proposed Workload Plan to the Director of Administration in the Dean's Office.
  • Director of Administration reviews forms with the Associate Dean for Faculty, Graduate Studies, and Research and routes forms to Dean for final review and approval.
  • All signed forms and letters are subsequently sent to the Associate Provost (currently Howard Dewald).
  • Once signed by the Associate Provost, copies are sent to UHR/Payroll/Benefits, CFAO, and Director of Finance.
  • Hard copies are then printed for permanent faculty personnel file; electronic copies saved to designated directory on share drive.
  • List of Early Retirees on the college e-file is updated and placed on share drive.

/BCM & KBC: 2019


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