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Innovative Practices in Faculty Retirement Honored With $100,000 Grants

June 18, 2012


ACE and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation today recognized 15 colleges and universities that demonstrate cutting-edge approaches to supporting faculty before, during and after their retirement transitions. Awardees will each receive $100,000 grants to accelerate innovative practices.

The institutions have demonstrated a best practice in three stages in culmination of faculty careers: the development of a legacy, the transition into retirement and the continuing involvement of faculty in the academic community post-retirement. Some examples include: a mentoring program partnering retired and new faculty, a life-planning seminar, an online tool for evaluating financial plans, an emeriti center, and transition grants faculty can use to complete a specific project before retirement.

"As more and more of the tenured professoriate near the end of their careers, colleges and universities are investigating ways to make the retirement process smooth and beneficial for everyone involved," said Gretchen M. Bataille, senior vice president for Leadership and Lifelong Learning at ACE. "With the generous support of the Sloan Foundation, ACE is recognizing these 15 institutions for creating win-win solutions that involve faculty in meaningful ways before, during and after retirement."

"Our intent in funding these awards is to broaden the national conversation and the agenda within higher education to take into account the full scope of the culminating stage of faculty careers," said Kathleen Christensen, Working Longer program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "We are hopeful these award winning institutions can provide examples for our community of thoughtful approaches that can be modeled."

The winners, by Carnegie Classification of institution, are:

Baccalaureate Colleges—Arts & Sciences:

  • Albright College (PA)
  • Carleton College (MN)
  • Mount Holyoke College (MA)
  • Skidmore College (NY)
  • Wellesley College (MA)

Master's Large Institutions:

  • Bentley University (MA)
  • San José State University (CA)
  • University of Baltimore (MD)
  • Xavier University (OH)

Doctorate-Granting Universities:

  • George Mason University (VA)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington

"Transitioning into retirement marks an important phase in a faculty career. Colleges and universities have developed programs to assist faculty in planning for and phasing into retirement, and redefining their relationship to their institutions post-retirement," said ACE Senior Advisor and Project Director Claire Van Ummersen. "These 15 colleges and universities are to be commended for their recognition of and positive actions in addressing this major milestone."

Brief summaries of each institution's award-winning activities can be found on the ACE website. In addition, each of the winners will draft a chapter about their campus practices which will be included in an upcoming ACE monograph. They will also have the opportunity to disseminate their best practices at conferences and in other venues.

The awards are part of ACE's ongoing work with The Alfred P. Sloan Projects for Faculty Career Flexibility. Past initiatives have included an invitational conference, an online toolkit, a white paper on legal issues focused on structuring faculty retirement packages and surveys of faculty and institutions.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, its Working Longer program is expanding understanding of aging Americans' work patterns.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginnie Titterton ▪ 202-939-9368 (office) ▪ 202-360-9484 (cell) ▪

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