Communication #12: Policy for Awarding Emeritus/Emerita Status (AY2023-24)

Last revised August 2022


Emeritus/emerita status may be awarded by the Board of Trustees upon retirement from the University of Illinois to faculty and prior to or upon retirement to senior administrators as recognition of honorable service to the University according to guidelines below.  For additional policy information, please see the website of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Policy for Awarding of Emeritus/Emerita Status.



  • Faculty who are awarded emeritus/emerita status will retain their rank at the time of retirement followed by the designation “Emeritus/Emerita.”  
  • Recommendations for emeritus/emerita designation must be made by the employing department with the approval of the appropriate college dean/director (serving at the level of Dean), the Chancellor (on the Urbana campus, the Provost serves as the Chancellor’s designee), and the President.


  • Presidents, chancellors, deans, and directors of academic units may retain at the time of retirement their last administrative title, followed by “Emeritus/Emerita.” 
  • Recommendations for emeritus/emerita designations must be made by the Chancellor or President, with approval at all succeeding levels.

Emeritus/Emerita Status Prior to Retirement

  • Emeritus/emerita status may be granted prior to retirement for those who have served the University for at least five years as dean, chancellor, or president and who resign such positions to return to the faculty. Such designations must be recommended by the Provost or President, with approval at all succeeding levels.

Endowed Appointments

  • Endowed positions may not be held after retirement.  However, units may recommend, through regular reporting channels to the Provost, that individuals be awarded the honorific title of “Name of Appointment Emeritus,” for example “Mary L. Francis Chair in Computer Science Emeritus.”  Emeritus titles in endowed positions (endowed chairs and professorships) do not provide discretionary funds or salary supplements to their holders.


The criteria for awarding emeritus/emerita status, an extraordinary title given at the time of retirement, shall be determine by the dean/director and the faculty of the college/school.


Emeritus/emerita status may be granted upon the recommendation of the department, with the approval of the school (if required), the college, and the Chancellor (on the Urbana-Champaign campus, the Provost serves as the Chancellor’s designee).  The department may recommend emeritus/emerita status at the time of retirement or after retirement by completing the Transmittal for Emeritus/Emerita Status Request (Attachment 1) and providing a brief letter in support of the recommendation that identifies the basis for the recommendation.  The recommendation must be submitted through the appropriate reporting channels for the endorsement of the Provost.  With the Provost’s approval, recommendations will be submitted to the Board of Trustees via the President.  Exceptions are as provided above for administrative positions.

Rights and Privileges

The University’s Statutes provide that “retired faculty members may participate in meetings of their college or school faculties but shall have no vote” [Article IX, Section 9(c)].  In addition, emeritus/emerita faculty members are entitled to the following privileges and campus services: 

  • Faculty I-card (identification card) to include the emeritus/emerita designation 
  • Participation in campus graduation ceremonies and processionals with use of graduate regalia  
  • Email access per CITES policies related to retired faculty and staff 
  • Retention of tenured faculty privileges at the University Library (with an I-card that includes the emeritus/emerita title) 

Further rights and privileges for emeritus/emerita faculty shall be as determined by the dean/director and the faculty of the college/school.  Retired faculty who plan to return part-time to teach in a department should seek emeritus/emerita status.  Similarly, faculty who plan to continue their research activities in a department should seek emeritus/emerita status.  The unit also may consider providing a 0% time research faculty position, especially if the faculty member plans to apply for external funding.  (See attachment #2 for sample.)