Faculty retirement program highlighted with award
The award — which was also sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic group that awards grants — honored 15 schools that displayed best practices in helping faculty members transition to retirement. Princeton was the only Ivy League school to win the grant, which evaluated each school on how they treat faculty preparing to retire, how they handle the actual retirement and how they deal with professors after they leave active teaching.
Some of the benefits the University provides to retired faculty members include medical coverage and counseling workshops. Faculty who are considering retirement are provided with opportunities to get extra salary and have the option to cut back on their teaching over a period of time, as they prepare for a change in lifestyle.
After retirement, the University also gives professors the option of continuing with their scholarly work. The University continues to provide them with office space, an email service, ID cards and library privileges so professors can continue to be involved with their work at the University in any way they wish.
If professors wish to continue their academic endeavors at Princeton, the University also provides them with lab space and opportunities to apply for grants in the fields in which they are involved.
The issuers of the grant conducted a survey of both current and retired faculty asking about their level of satisfaction with the University’s faculty programs. The University did not have access to their responses until after the grant was announced.
Professor of psychology and Special Assistant to the Dean of Faculty Joan Girgus, who wrote the application for the grant, said the University does not have numbers on how many professors actually stay actively involved with Princeton after retirement.
However, Girgus said the University was “particularly pleased with results of a faculty survey that the Sloan Foundation and the ACE conducted as part of the process, in which they found that we were amongst the top rated Universities in terms of faculty satisfaction.”
Molecular biology professor emeritus James Broach, who attained emeritus status in February 2012, said that while he hasn’t dealt directly with the Office of the Dean of Faculty, he has been in touch with his former department.
“I have continued to maintain a lab at Princeton for the past six months, with students finishing their PhD work, and the department has been extremely accommodating and I have been grateful for their help,” Broach said.
Apart from Princeton, 14 other Universities were recognized for their work in faculty retirement, including Wellesley College, the University of Baltimore and Georgia Institute of Technology.