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Recruitment, Retention and Retirement in Higher Education

Building and Managing the Faculty of the Future

Edited by Robert L. Clark and Jennifer Ma

This volume examines some of the most pressing employment and compensation issues confronting academic administrators. Contributors discuss topics such as: ageing of faculty, changing economic conditions and shifts in faculty employment patterns, rapid increases in health care costs and trends in retiree health insurance, and adoption of phased and early retirement programs.
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Chapter 8: Faculty recruitment, retention and retirement: a case study of human resources policymaking at Syracuse University

John L. Palmer, Michael A. Flusche and Myra Z. Johnson


John L. Palmer, Michael A. Flusche and Myra Z. Johnson In Chapter 1 of this volume, Robert L. Clark identifies several important human resources policy issues related to faculty recruitment, retention and retirement that he believes will be particularly challenging for universities in the near future. In addition, he argues the need for careful consideration of the diversity of educational institutions and their environments, as well as of the context of national economic conditions and key public policies, in any analysis of how universities in general might respond to these faculty labor market concerns. As they are at many other universities, human resources practices are evolving rapidly at Syracuse University (SU) in response to the concerns outlined by Clark. In this case study we discuss several relevant recent and ongoing activities at SU in which we were extensively involved,1 with attention both to substantive outcomes and processes and to important dimensions of institutional and national context. Our major focus is on health care, but we also discuss SU’s new family leave and phased retirement policies for faculty. In what follows we devote a section to each of these three areas in turn and then offer several concluding observations. 8.1 HEALTH CARE Syracuse University has a history of providing the same health care benefits to eligible faculty and staff while actively employed, and to eligible retirees until age 70 (the old mandatory retirement age).2 Prior to the mid1990s, the available options for active employees (and their...

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