Two-thirds of tenured faculty expect to work past normal retirement age—but their reasons for doing so may be based on faulty assumptions.
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This research provides a deeper understanding of the issues facing academic institutions when age-eligible professors do not retire and how those issues can best be addressed.
Conventional wisdom maintains that many faculty remain in their position beyond a normal retirement age and past the point where they are effective professors. While there are older faculty who are poor performers, there are also older faculty who remain effective.
Older faculty members wanting to reduce their work loads increasingly are interested in phased retirement plans, which allow them to ease into retirement and avoid an abrupt separation from their institutions.
In Fall 2001, nearly 3.1 million individuals were employed at U.S. degree-granting institutions. Of them, roughly 1.1 million were faculty members.
The end of mandatory retirement has given tenured faculty a new job privilege. Except for faculty dismissed for cause, a tenured faculty member's decision to leave a University is now entirely at the discretion of the faculty member.