Communication #12:
Policy for Awarding Emeritus/Emerita Status

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 I. Overview

Emeritus/emerita status may be awarded by the Board of Trustees upon retirement from the University of Illinois to faculty and 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 (

 II. Guidelines

Faculty: [1]

  • 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, and deans/directors 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. [2]

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.

III. Criteria

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

 IV. Processes

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.

 V. 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.)

 VI. Attachments

[1] According to University of Illinois policy, faculty includes (a) those in the professorial ranks, i.e., professors and associate professors; (b) research and clinical faculty; and (c) teaching associates of University High School.

[2] The President of the University is an exception. Approval for a President’s emeritus/emeriti status is granted by the Board of Trustees.