Volume 13, Number 17 May 5, 2006

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Emeritus title to be extended

With more professors receiving the emeritus or emerita designation than recommended by existing University policy, the Board of Governors is being asked to change that policy and award the honour to all retiring tenured full professors.

In his report to University Council April 20, Provost Michael Atkinson said the board would consider the change at its May 5 meeting.  The recommendation came about after the rationale and fairness of the award process was questioned in various forums, including Council meetings, he said. 

According to Atkinson, the current policy suggests about one-third of retiring full professors receive the title but, since 2002, that number has reached about 58 per cent.  His report goes on to say only a handful of department nominations have been denied in the past couple of years.

The Provost’s office looked at emeritus/emerita policies at other universities and found significant differences ranging from conferring the title on all full professors who retire, to awarding it just to those who “make continued superior contributions in teaching, research, administration or outreach.”  In the end, Atkinson said the University decided to request that the title be conferred on all retiring full professors, a change “I hope captures the sense and sensibility of members of Council.”

If approved, the new policy will be applied retroactively to all full professors who have retired since 2000.  Those who retired before 2000 will receive the title upon request.  Atkinson added the University will likely explore other forms of recognition such as distinguished professorships.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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