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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 12: Phasing out of full-time work at the University of California

Ellen Switkes


Ellen Switkes This chapter describes a multiyear discussion between the administration and the faculty at the University of California about the transition between full-time work and full-time retirement. The story begins with a phased retirement program instituted in 1980, and ends in the spring of 2004 with ongoing discussions between faculty senate committees and campus provosts about provisions for recalling faculty following retirement mediated by staff in the system-wide Office of the President. The faculty, represented by a system-wide senate faculty committee, wanted the option of a phased retirement program which they viewed as a humane and generous benefit to transition between full-time work and full-time retirement. Academic managers, represented by campus provosts, had serious concerns about any program that might encourage faculty to retire early. Campuses regularly recalled retired faculty to teach, and the provosts saw no reason to make these individual arrangements into a ‘program.’ The Berkeley campus recently sponsored a seven-session series on retirement planning. During the first session, several retired faculty gave a picture of their retirement activities. All these retirees, even those who had been retired for ten years remained professionally active. They had retired to finish a book, to study, and in some cases to avoid meetings, committees or teaching. It’s clear that many faculty who retire do not plan to give up their scholarly lives. In fact, at this program it became clear that many faculty have no clue what to do after retirement other than more study. For these reasons,...

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