ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS AND FACULTY RETIREMENT IN A NEW ERA
More than a decade ago, as the end of mandatory retirement for faculty approached, many academic administrators were concerned about its negative impact on their institutions. With the assistance of a variety of incentives put in place to encourage voluntary retirement, a significant number of senior faculty retired during the 1990s. Now, the looming loss of millions of “baby boomer” faculty requires rethinking faculty retirement. Administrators have two urgent issues to address: defining and maintaining a balance of junior and senior faculty, and designing and implementing effective retirement programs for this new generation of aging faculty. Important differences between previous and future generations of faculty suggest that retirement programs that worked in the past may no longer be effective for the institution—and may not appeal to the faculty. Federal and state governments, businesses, and organizations are preparing to respond to the forthcoming biggest wave of retirement in our country's history. Academic administrators, who pioneered phased-retirement programs, will want to stay on top of this wave too.