Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Emeriti Faculty
DATE OF ISSUANCE:
This policy was adopted on March 1, 1993, as the Policy on Professors Emeriti. It was revised on September 8, 1998, and further administrative changes were made on March 12, 2020. The policy was most recently revised on January 5, 2024.
Office of the Provost. Questions should be directed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty.
Eligible faculty who seek to have continued engagement with the university after retirement may be granted emerit faculty status. Whether employed by the university or not, emeriti faculty are granted certain privileges, services and benefits. This policy describes eligibility, the privileges accorded to emeriti faculty, and the process for requesting emerit status.
Carnegie Mellon University may confer emerit status upon eligible retired faculty members to facilitate their continued academic and social engagement and connection to their discipline, department, unit, college/school and the broader university community.
1. Eligibility to Request Emerit Status and Titles
Tenure track, teaching track and research track faculty who are at the rank of associate or above, and librarian/archivist faculty at the rank of senior or above, who have served as faculty for at least five years¹ are eligible to request emerit status at the time of retirement.² If the status is conferred, they will have the following titles, depending on their appointment prior to retirement: (associate) professor, (associate) teaching professor, (associate) research professor, senior librarian/archivist, or principal librarian archivist, emerit.³ In this policy, the status is referred to as emerit faculty status, individual faculty are referred to as emerit, and collectively, they are referred to as emeriti faculty.
Emerit status is an honorific title conferred on retiring faculty who have had a distinguished faculty career at Carnegie Mellon and who meet the minimum years of service set forth above. Emerit faculty may choose to engage to varying degrees in academic, service and social activities based on their individual preferences. With the exception of those limited activities specifically identified below for which an emerit faculty member must be compensated, emerit faculty are not considered employees and are not entitled to compensation or benefits by virtue of holding this title.
2. Continued Engagement of Emeriti Faculty
A. Involvement in Academic Life
Emeriti faculty continue to be members of their academic unit (“unit” in this policy is intended to refer to unit, department or institute as relevant) and are listed as such in the university’s Faculty/Staff Directory and official unit websites (with lists of faculty). They have the right to attend unit, college or school, and university faculty meetings, but without the right to vote. They remain members of the Faculty Organization and can consequently serve on committees of the Faculty Senate. They can also be appointed to special or ad hoc unit, college or school, and university committees (e.g., committees of inquiry or investigation under the Policy for Handling Alleged Misconduct in Research, University Disciplinary Committee, etc.); in such cases, they shall have the full authority of a committee member with the right to vote if applicable.
However, emeriti faculty may not be on unit, school/college, or university committees concerned with hiring, reappointment, promotion or tenure. They may only attend unit or school/college meetings on such issues if invited by the unit head or dean (as applicable) who considers their contribution as important for the discussion of a particular case. (However, even under these circumstances, they do not have the right to vote).
Emeriti faculty can serve as principal investigators or otherwise work on externally sponsored projects and can advise and supervise students (including serving on or chairing thesis committees) with the approval of the head of the student’s unit or program. At the invitation of their unit head, they can also continue to teach courses and seminars. During such periods as emeriti faculty are performing work on externally sponsored projects, teaching or other paid services arranged with their unit head, they will be given active employment status as "emerit-with-pay." The amount of pay for teaching and service activities will be agreed upon with the relevant unit head. In the case of work on externally sponsored projects, the amount of compensation will be dependent on grant terms, budgets and applicable regulations and as a consequence, the emerit faculty member and unit must consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs to assure that any compensation arrangements comport with the university’s contractual and legal obligations.
If performing work on externally sponsored projects or teaching, or if otherwise actively engaged in significant academic or service activities, reasonable office or practice space will be made available to the emerit faculty member; this may be shared space. If performing work on externally sponsored projects, necessary laboratory space will also be arranged with the unit head. Emeriti faculty have continued access to their discretionary funds in accord with unit, college or school practice.
B. Social Engagement
Emeriti faculty are retained on all mailing lists and included on all other communications that provide information of general interest to faculty members, unless they specifically request to be removed from such lists or communications. They will be invited to faculty social functions to which non-retired faculty of equivalent rank are invited.
C. Other Entitlements/Benefits
Emeriti faculty have access to electronic mail and networking through the university’s Computing Services. They have the right to use software for which the university has acquired a license to the fullest extent permitted by this license; any licenses or services which involve a charge may be funded by an emerit faculty member’s sponsored funds (if appropriate), discretionary funds (if any), or may be covered by the department head in the head’s discretion. They also retain full access to library facilities, including borrowing rights and interlibrary loan privileges. They continue to have faculty privileges at the University Bookstore, Art Store and Computer Store, and have access to the same recreational and dining facilities they could use before retirement, subject to the same charges as all patrons.
Emeriti faculty shall have access to parking as before their retirement, in particular, they retain their seniority in space allocation. Commencing with the parking year that begins on September 1, 2024 and for future parking years: (1) emeriti faculty may request from the Parking Office vouchers (or the electronic equivalent) for 50 days of free parking for the relevant parking year; requests for vouchers must be made before the commencement of the parking year and vouchers may not be carried over from year to year; and (2) emeriti faculty may purchase leases at the regular lease rates.⁴
The above is not meant to preclude the availability of other services or resources when arrangements have been made with the respective unit head and dean. When emeriti faculty are actively employed by the university as emerit-with-pay, the provisions of the active appointment shall prevail. However, such provisions shall not deprive the appointee of any of the entitlements under the previous paragraphs.
3. Requesting Emerit Status, Conferral/Denial/Revocation Process
Eligible faculty who wish to be considered for conferral of emerit status upon retirement, must complete a Notice of Intent to Retire and (Optional) Request for Emerit Status.⁶
A request for emerit status must be supported by recommendations from the faculty member’s unit head, dean and the provost. In the case of faculty holding joint appointments, the unit head and dean of one of the relevant units must support and recommend the request for emerit status. The president has final authority on the conferral or denial of emerit status, and will endeavor to make decisions promptly. If emerit status is granted, the president will notify the faculty member in writing.
Emerit status may be denied where there is not uniform support for conferral of the status from the unit head, dean, provost and president and it may be revoked after having been granted. Among other reasons, denial or revocation may be based on any of the following: violation of university policy; failure to uphold the standards of faculty conduct set forth in the Appointment and Tenure Policy (e.g., engaging in fraudulent or otherwise unethical conduct in academic affairs, or encouraging or tolerating such conduct in other members of the university; misuse of authority resulting in harassment, intimidation, or defamation of others; interference with the normal performance of duties and functions of members and invited guests of the university; theft or willful destruction of property of the university or of its members); behavior that would constitute a basis for dismissal for cause as set forth in the Appointment and Tenure Policy (e.g., violation of the criminal law that places the institution or members of the university community in jeopardy); engaging in conduct inside or outside the university that undermines the functioning and welfare of the home unit, school/college and/or university.
It is expected that emeriti faculty will continue to abide by all university policies, will uphold the standards of faculty conduct, and will make positive contributions to the welfare and functioning of their units, schools/colleges, and the university.
Prior to a denial or revocation of emerit status, the president will issue a written notice of intended denial or revocation to the faculty member. The faculty member will have 30 days to request a hearing by an ad-hoc committee consisting of three current faculty members. Of these, one will be designated by the provost, one by the faculty member, and one by the chair of the Faculty Senate. Their report will be forwarded to the president to inform the president’s ultimate decision on denial or revocation. There shall be no right to appeal from the president’s decision, nor shall there be any right to file a grievance from a denial or revocation to the Faculty Review Committee under the provisions of the Appointment and Tenure Policy.
Because emeriti faculty are members of the Faculty Organization under the terms of the Bylaws to the Constitution of the Faculty Organization of Carnegie Mellon University (adopted by Faculty Senate on April 19, 1992 and most recently amended on May 7, 2020), emeriti faculty continue to be covered and protected by Article VIII of the Bylaws of Carnegie Mellon University, the Statement of Policy on Professional Protection regarding Faculty Members, when carrying out “protected activities” as defined in Article VIII, to the extent provided in Article VIII and subject to all terms and conditions stated therein.
Benefits Eligibility when in Paid Appointment
Emeriti faculty who are in paid appointments as emerit-with-pay to facilitate their continued work on externally sponsored projects, teaching and/or substantial service activities have active employment status and as such, during the term of such paid appointment, they may be eligible for benefits associated with active employment, provided they meet all eligibility standards set forth in the relevant benefit plans. As paid employees, they may also be eligible for workers compensation benefits (wage loss and medical benefits) if they are unable to work or need medical care because of a work-related injury. Such benefits are not available to emeriti faculty when they do not hold active, paid employment status.
¹In exceptional circumstances, upon the recommendation of their unit head and dean, the university may waive the service requirement for otherwise eligible retiring faculty to recognize extraordinary achievement.
²In exceptional circumstances, upon the recommendation of their unit head and dean, the university may grant emerit status to members of the special faculty to recognize extraordinary achievement.
³Individuals may use titles emeritus, emerita or emerit according to their preference. Faculty members who hold a chair and related title prior to retirement may also include in their title chair emeritus, emerita or emerit according to their preference.
⁴For the balance of the current parking year (September 1, 2023 through August 31, 2024), individuals who hold emerit status at the time of the approval of this amended policy may continue to use parking benefits procured under the prior policy. Specifically, emeriti faculty may use the balance of vouchers for 50 days of free parking issued for the current parking year, and any emeriti faculty who procured leases at a reduced rate will be charged the reduced rate for the balance of the current parking year.
⁵During such periods as emeriti faculty may hold active employment status as emerit-with-pay, they may also be eligible for benefits associated with active employment, provided they meet all eligibility standards set forth in the relevant benefit plans. See Section 4.
⁶Tenured faculty who are retiring under one of the options set forth in the Policy to Provide Retirement Options for Tenured Faculty, and teaching faculty retiring under the Policy to Provide Phased Retirement Option for Teaching Track Faculty should also complete this form if requesting emerit status.