The founding Dean presents a historical overview and personal insights in the development of the ASU Emeritus College.
The Emeritus College at Arizona State University was formed officially on November 2, 2004, when the University Provost, Milt Glick, waved his administrative wand and transformed the Emeritus College Steering Committee into the College Council and me into a “Dean”. The College’s existence from then on has been as a unit within the Provost’s milieu, and supported by local funds through that office. It is different from most colleges in that it grants no degrees, enrolls no students, and has no paid faculty. It does share, however, the important distinction of having full recognition by the University Senate--all members of the Emeritus College are voting members of the Faculty Academic Assembly and have representation in the Senate.
As Dean of the Emeritus College, I was also atypical. I had no curriculum to oversee, nor faculty to hire, evaluate, and reward. My contract was a Volunteer Service Agreement and a handshake; my compensation was satisfaction.
This is a personal account of my involvement in the founding and development of the Emeritus College. It is written at the invitation of my colleagues in the College, and as a sidebar, as it were, to my memoirs. Notwithstanding my hope to be sensitive to the truth and to others’ feelings, I intend to portray events as I recall them and to, “leave some flesh and sinew on the bones of history”.
I retired from my faculty position in May, 2001, after thirty-eight years in the Department of Physics. Rising through the ranks at normal speed and serving a five-year term as Department Chairman, I finally reached the service time and grade that, under the Arizona State Retirement System, qualified me to retire at an income equivalent to that I was earning, if one also counted expected Social Security benefits. When I realized that I was in effect paying the University for the privilege of sitting on departmental committees and teaching courses that no longer inspired my best efforts, I began negotiations with the Dean that led to a two-year, forty-nine per cent, withdrawal plan.
It was never my intention to leave physics. I wanted to continue teaching and doing research. In fact, the extra time I thought I would have in which to revive my research activity was a secondary reason for my decision to retire. So I was pleased to still have teaching duties as well as some minor departmental service responsibilities over the next two years. It soon became apparent that “49%” was a fiction. My days and nights were almost as full of work as ever. And I was surprised to find that, as the contract came to an end, I was feeling relief that I would no longer be subject to an employer-employee relationship with regard to compensation. From now on I could ignore the source of periodic deposits into my bank account and organize my daily activities and long-range plans according to my own desires, needs, and, yes, whims. So I looked forward to my “second retirement” in May, 2003. But I still didn’t want to leave the discipline or the teaching of physics. Neither did I want to disassociate from academia.
I had already noted the cavalier manner with which the University dismissed its retiring faculty. A certificate--suitable for framing--and a parting gift, a luncheon, and then “please turn in your keys”. Some, to be sure, stuck around at their departments’ invitation and pleasure, providing teaching and other service in exchange for office space and facility access; a few actually maintained research grants and continued on seamlessly as before. But the majority found their relationship with the University suddenly transformed into occasional luncheons sponsored by the Faculty Emeriti Association and social and recreational activities together with retired staff in the ASU Retirees Association (ASURA).
I felt that there was something missing, both in the opportunities that should, I thought, be available to those who had devoted their careers to the University, and in the enormous resource of experience, knowledge, and wisdom that they carried away with them.
It was while in such a state of mind in February, 2003, that I ran across an article in the latest Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Gray Expectations”. It described the recent organization of an Emeritus College by a group of retired faculty at Emory University.
Conceived in a way to combat the isolation that many professors feel in retirement, it also offers retired faculty members a chance to socialize, discuss topics with fellow intellectuals, teach an occasional course, advise a junior professor or a student, give a lecture, and find encouragement for their scholarly pursuits.
This struck me as being just the ticket. But would ASU be open to such a thing? New president Michael Crow had arrived a few months earlier and had already shown signs of interesting innovations and a general shaking up of things. So maybe he would be open to the suggestion. The problem, I thought, would be to get his attention in the midst of all his competing issues.
As it happens, I had a few days earlier attended a lunch-time talk by President Crow on campus. His topic was a tuition increase, and he made an aside remark concerning the possibility of the legislature’s “netting it out” by a commensurate reduction in appropriations. I believed I had some insight to contribute to this issue and had already decided to correspond with him about it. Perhaps that would be the way to get him to read an e-mail from a retiree. (I have since learned that he is, in fact, quite approachable.) My letter to him, which I found out from an acquaintance who was with him when he received it on his Blackberry while on a flight to Salt Lake City, was read immediately. Dated February 2, 2003, it consisted in the main of my remarks concerning tuition and budget appropriations. But the last paragraph was as follows:
“As an Emeritus Professor, with still a lot of energy and pretty young at heart, I would like to see more opportunity for emeriti to contribute to the University in substantive ways. An article in the Chronicle...attracted my attention. It concerned the establishment of Emeritus Colleges, the one in particular at Emory… Participants would be able to teach the odd course, advise undergraduates, continue their scholarly work even if under reduced circumstances, etc., with institutional standing. Even if the pay were nominal or null, I think many of us would welcome the continued engagement. What was once a very young faculty has, during my tenure, become a very old one. A good fraction of most departments has recently retired or is approaching retirement. Especially in times of economic straits, the emeriti could be a significant resource.” He responded within a few days, gently dismissed my remarks about university finances, but picked up on the emeritus college idea with what seemed to me like enthusiasm. He told me that Provost Glick would be contacting me to pursue it.
I didn’t hear from Milt (who did know me pretty well, our having worked together on senate and other committees), and the matter slipped my mind as I taught my final spring semester on the payroll. But I came across the e-mail letters between Crow and myself late in May, and reached out to the Provost.
“Milt: Your memo ... reminded me that Pres. Crow wrote, in answer to a suggestion I sent him that he would pass it on to you. The suggestion is to establish an emeritus college, similar to the one at Emory and other places. The purpose would be to give emeriti who want continued productive engagement with the University and departments who could use the abilities and expertise of emeriti a structure in which to satisfy these desires. I’ve discussed this with retired or soon-to-be retired colleagues and think there’s enough interest to justify pursuing it. I’d like to get together with you on this issue sometime this summer. Best regards, Dick Jacob”
I had in fact test driven the idea with one or two friends and got some encouragement. And Milt responded in the same vein with assistance in getting discussions started.
ASU already had an organization for emeritus faculty, called the Faculty Emeriti Association. It provided the chance for retired faculty to meet with each other two or three times a semester at a luncheon where they would hear about university initiatives and progress from a member of the administration. The Association also sponsored a small number of graduate fellowships, funded by member contributions. This was all well and good (except that at the first luncheon I attended in 2001 it seemed as if everyone else there had preceded me by several years into retirement), but wasn’t quite what I had in mind. Nevertheless, in August the first meeting I had on the emeritus college idea was organized by Milt’s office and attended by Joe Wilkinson and John Bell, past and current presidents of the Association. I had prepared a sketchy draft proposal, which originally suggested that the Association be reformed as an emeritus college, and the three of us discussed its possibilities.
John pointed out that for the idea to have a chance of hatching, it would need fairly strong interest from emeriti and a positive acceptance by the administration. Since President Crow was promoting an early retirement program, it seemed to John and Joe that the latter could be forthcoming. To test the former, he invited me to make a presentation at the Fall Semester’s first Association luncheon. He also mentioned that Crow was to be the speaker that day.
Hopeful that Crow would be impressed by my detailed preparation, I constructed a simple PowerPoint presentation and printed handouts based on the bullet points in the draft proposal. Unfortunately, he didn’t arrive until it was time for him to speak and my five-minute spiel was delivered to just those sixty or so emeriti and their spouses present, most of whom had retired more than a decade earlier. John introduced me with a measure of well intentioned skepticism and the response was underwhelming; I got the impression that most of the audience hadn’t the slightest idea of what I was talking about and couldn’t care less. There were no questions, and my handouts were left scattered on the tables. Indeed, I don’t think that more than a handful of that original group ever joined the College. I was not so much discouraged as resigned, thinking that I should have known better. ASU faculty were used to being sent out to pasture upon retirement, I thought, and only those with active research groups and funding would want to stick around. So I wrote the suggestion off as being just another one of my hare-brained ideas, until, a few days later, I got positive responses from two old friends, Fred Fehr of Psychology, with whom I had worked on a committee or two, and my colleague from Physics, Howard Voss. John Bell also had picked up on the vision and encouraged me to return to Milt Glick with a recommendation to set up a Steering Committee to study the possibilities. If our findings were propitious, the plan was to write a proposal to establish the College.
Glick accepted our recommendation and, working from a list generated by me together with assistance from his staff, he sent letters to Taki Atsumi (Music), Ronald Alvarado (Zoology), John Bell (Secondary Education), Winifred Doane (Biology), Chuck Elliott (Industrial Engineering), Fred Fehr (Psychology), Len Gordon (Sociology), Howard Voss (Physics), and myself, all emeritus faculty, inviting us to serve on the Steering Committee. Everyone accepted the invitation, and the first meeting was held in the Regents Room of the Administration Building in December, 2003. I was appointed Chair of the Committee. Provost Glick then passed on to us the charge from President Crow, that we work toward the creation of an emeritus college that “will distinguish ASU among America’s modern universities.”
I had worked with Len Gordon while he was Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He had been particularly helpful to me when I was pushing a new physics major curriculum through channels. Howard Voss was, as I have said, a close friend and colleague. Ron Alvarado and Fred Fehr had served with me on college and university committees. I knew Taki Atsumi and Winifred Doane by their professional reputations, but had had only brief, if any, exchanges with them. I had not remembered meeting Chuck Elliott before, and John Bell was, by now, a full partner in this enterprise.
The Committee agreed on a meeting date, January 8, 2004, for our first working session, and Glick assured us of his support and that of his staff, including the survey and analysis services of the University Evaluation office. He appointed his Assistant Provost, Loui Olivas, as our liaison and his Administrative Assistant, Karen Hammon, to take care of our clerical needs. The Committee’s actual secretarial requirements were assumed by Olivas’s Administrative Assistant, Jan Booker (later Mancini). Everyone was generous in his or her time and effort. From the inception of the Committee, there was an optimistic and supportive attitude in the Administration toward the prospects of an emeritus college.
The initial working meeting of the Emeritus College Steering Committee (ECSC) took place, again, in the Regents Room.iii Before our getting down to business, Loui Olivas addressed the Committee. He discussed President Crow’s and Provost Glick’s strong support for the development of a unique and substantial contributing ASU Emeritus College. He said that they expressed particular support for the development of an Emeritus College that would have characteristics of other emeritus colleges while being an academic entity that would be a distinctive and distinguished part of the New American University, which ASU is in process of becoming.The Committee was charged to complete a report on a new, bold, and useful ASU Emeritus College by the end of the Spring semester or early summer. I expressed my feeling that the aim of the Steering Committee should be a broad and high quality program. In this context it would be different from other established colleges in that it would not have a specific curriculum for offering degrees, nor annual performance or merit review reports, nor be part of the college accreditation review processes; rather, the college would be supportive of all these and other aspects of the university.
My search for other emeritus college-like programs had led me to the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE), headquartered at USC in Los Angeles and presided over by Eugene Bianchi, head of the Emory University Emeritus College, which had been featured in the Chronicle article referenced earlier. AROHE’s membership totaled about 25 organizations and I immediately sought its recognition. Olivas announced during his remarks that ASU had paid its initial $100 membership fee as a “developing organization”. This of itself, in my mind, constituted the first step toward permanency of our own emeritus college.
Facing a no-nonsense deadline, the Steering Committee and I then settled down to organize ourselves and start the process. I have always believed that the first one to lay paper on the table in a committee meeting can set the stage for final actions. Because I didn’t want my own vision of the college to get sidetracked, I had prepared a brief “Proposal for an Emeritus College at ASU” as a discussion piece. It was comparable to the initial draft proposalii already made at the Association luncheon, but included a few more structural and philosophical details. I distributed it to the Committee and asked the members to read it for discussion at a later date. Our job that day was to agree on assignments.
I had also prepared a subcommittee structure to address our two most pressing tasks: (i) surveying the local interest in an emeritus college, and (ii) reviewing the existence and nature of similar entities elsewhere. The Local Survey Committee consisted of Winifred Doane as Chair, Chuck Elliott, Fred Fehr, and Len Gordon. The National Survey Committee was chaired by Ron Alvarado, with Taki Atsumi, John Bell, and Howard Voss as members. Both of these subcommittees relied heavily on the assistance and expertise of Steve Miller and Vicki Harmon from the Office of University Evaluation.
Having set early July as our deadline for submitting a proposal to the Provost, the Committee met every two weeks or so throughout the first six months of 2004. The first half of this period was devoted to creating the surveys and administering them. A questionnaire went to all known living ASU emeriti and emeritae,iv and queries were sent to all the organizations in North America that we could identify as possibly having features in common with our initial concept. These surveys and their results and analyses are published elsewhere; indeed, highlights were presented by Chuck Elliot and Fred Fehr at the 2004 national meeting of AROHE. I will mention here some impressions I gathered from them which helped to guide my thinking, and that of the Committee, as we crafted the proposal during the second three months.
The response from ASU emeriti/ae was gratifying and alleviated the disappointment I had felt at the poor response to my presentation at the Emeriti Faculty Association luncheon. Of some 250 respondents, 86% indicated that they would likely join the College if it were to provide functions and activities of interest to them. This number has held up: more than 300 ASU emeriti/ae joined the College within its first three years of existence. But this required providing a program that would interest a wide diversity of professional scholars, scientists, and artists. And that was our task. It was interesting to note that slightly more respondents considered enhancement of interaction with each other and with the university as being of greater appeal than performing expert service for the university, although the latter still garnered 90% support.
The survey covered many possible items of individual interest. Response levels were more helpful in formulating the College’s structure, incorporating flexibility, and broadly defined directions, than in generating an initial menu of specific activities and thrusts. Of course, the greatest interest focused on individual scholarly works. “Engaging in studies and research of personal interest” scored the highest. But I was struck by the relatively high level of interest in student advisement, mentoring, and other student oriented functions; at this writing, I am still somewhat confounded by the actual low level of response we’ve gotten in attempts to foster this type of College activity.
As might have been expected, assisting the university with fund raising was not a popular option. But I realized it would be expected of the College and resolved to approach the issue diplomatically when the time came. First things first, however.
The survey of other organizations brought in much information and literature. It became clear to me, though, that we already had significant advantages over most other similar entities, even before we had submitted our proposal. Foremost among these was an administration that had responded without coaxing and with fulsome expressions of welcome for a well-conceived proposal, an understanding already in place which meant financial support, facilities, and staff. Only a handful of other emeritus colleges or centers enjoyed this kind of administrative backing. I also recognized that, with ASURA already on campus, our emeritus college would not have its programs overrun by the needs of a much larger group of socially active retired staff, as was the case with the organizations at many of the other universities. In summary, I believed that we could easily invent a much better wheel. Of course, prudence and credibility required that we pay homage to whatever good ideas we uncovered in our survey. But I found that the value in the survey was in the contrasts which we could draw in making the case for a novel state-of-the-art emeritus college at our own institution.
The diversity of interests, need for flexibility, and a desire to focus college initiatives led me to the concept of college “centers”. These would serve much as departments or schools in an academic college to concentrate activities around common themes. It was never intended that every emeritus college function would have a home in a center, but that many of the collective interests of college members could be united under an organizational umbrella. Thus, we introduced centers for writing, mentoring, educational issues, ASU history and tradition, and the arts, each to have its own director and rather fluid membership. Centers highlighted our proposed structure throughout the first year or two, and much of the College’s activity has related to one or another center. But the concept has not yet taken on the primal driving role in college planning that was anticipated. Nevertheless, I still believe it was the right way to go and yet may evolve into something resembling the original concept. The principal deterrent is the difficulty of finding center directors who are committed over the long term to their respective centers’ missions.
The proposal defined college leadership in terms of a dean and a college council. The title “dean” was recommended in order to place the College at the same level of administration as academic colleges and to give its holder the special access and recognition that accompanies it. This turned out to be the case, and the Emeritus College Dean is recognized as being a dean in almost every sense of the title. But it was also felt that the position should be held in the spirit of voluntarism, and so a token salary of a “dollar per year” also was recommended, although provision was made for a salary, should the Provost consider that to be a preferable arrangement. Currently, the Dean serves pro bono under an ASU volunteer agreement. This suffices to provide the usual liability protection and the signatory rights needed to administer the College and its ASU Foundation accounts. Dean and council terms and structure were later defined in the College Bylaws, ratified in 2005 by a meeting of the College membership.
College resources also were specified in the proposal. Two full-time university employees were to serve as Administrative Assistant and Secretary. An annual budget to cover office operations, Dean’s travel, printing costs, and other standard expenditures in addition to the staff, were recommended at a reasonable level that has become the College’s standard base. Adequate space and facilities were proposed, but at a level about double that finally realized. The College is still making the case for two full-time staff, although part-time student assistance has been funded and proven very useful, especially in computer publishing.
Issues relating to membership qualifications generated lengthy discussions. It was finally decided that anyone with emeritus status from ASU would qualify for regular membership, but that emeriti/ae from other reputable colleges and universities would also be welcome. Annual dues of $30 also were inserted as a way to generate funding for college functions and to demonstrate earnestness on the part of applicants for membership.vi
Work on writing the proposal began in April, 2004, with evolving drafts written, circulated, and revised over the next three months. I reorganized the Committee into drafting subgroups, each with responsibilities for particular sections. In a letter I wrote on May 5 to the Committee, in which I discussed agenda for the next meeting, one finds a snapshot of our progress: “Note that the agenda consists primarily of reviewing and discussing drafts of the various proposal sections. Please come prepared to do that. In order to have the draft skeleton fleshed out, it would be good to have your contributions added to it before the meeting. ...
I’m not worried at this point about style or continuity; we’ll fix all of that in June. But I am hoping to have the bulk of Sections 3, 4, and 6 join the rest of the draft so that we can get a good look at the whole thing and how it hangs together. ...
At the meeting I will assign individuals to take responsibility for the final drafting of sections and appendices. The supradraft (sic), in which style, etc., will finally be ironed out, and the Executive Summary will be my responsibilities. But you’ll all have the chance to pass judgment before it’s shipped to Milt.”
At about this time, the Academic Senate passed a resolution wishing us success in our efforts. This was a valued and important encouragement and foretold of future support for the College from our non-retired colleagues.
The Proposal for an Emeritus College at Arizona State University was submitted to Provost Glick on Tuesday, July 6, 2004. The full proposal is available online, but I reproduce the
Executive Summary here:
It is proposed that, for the mutual benefit of the University and its emeritus faculty, an Emeritus College be established at Arizona State University. The Emeritus College will foster and support the continued scholarly, creative and artistic lives of its members and, in so doing, prolong continued fruitful engagement with and service to the University. The essential recommendations in this proposal are:
• Membership Criteria (Section 5.A)
o Eligibility for membership in the Emeritus College is universal for all duly designated emeriti and emeritae of Arizona State University and at all of its campuses (approximately 800 emeriti/ae).
o Retired faculty from other 4-year colleges and universities, upon application, may be admitted as Adjunct Emeritus Faculty in the Emeritus College at ASU provided that they are recognized by their respective institutions by the emeritus rank and that their professional records indicate the likelihood that they would have attained tenure had they been faculty members at ASU.
• Administrative Structure (Section 5.B)
o The Emeritus College will be an official academic unit within the University with all the appropriate benefits, distinctions and obligations that accompany such a designation.
o A Dean of the Emeritus College will be appointed from among the ranks of ASU emeriti/emeritae. The compensation, which could range from $1 per year to 49% of a typical professorial contract, will be determined by agreement between the Dean and the University.
o The Dean will be assisted by a staff consisting of a full-time Administrative Assistant and one full-time Clerical Assistant/Receptionist.
o The Dean will be advised by a Dean’s Advisory Council consisting of the directors of Emeritus College Centers and other College members as prescribed by the Emeritus College By-Laws.
o The Emeritus College will encourage a range and variety of cooperative emeritus faculty interests and projects through the establishment Emeritus College Centers.
• Physical Facilities (Section 5.C)
o A suite of offices and other facilities will be provided (2750 SF), including an administrative office suite; a conference room; open, flexible use, work carrels; closed studies, equipped with computers and broadband access; class/seminar room and space for a mentoring center and other center activities.
• Ways and Means (Section 5.D)
o The basic financing of the Emeritus College will come from University budget appropriations. (Estimated budget: $112K - $173K. Appendix E.) Expenses beyond the basic staff and operations will be met mostly by external funding.
o Proceeds from annual dues of $30 will be allocated 50% to the Emeritus College endowment fund and 50% to a fund to support travel to conferences and meetings in which College members actively participate.
Provost Glick received our proposal at a small ceremony in which we outlined the Emeritus College’s main features. I thought it was remarkable that we then heard back from him through Loui Olivas in only two and a half months. Considering that it included August, usually a tough time to get anything through a university bureaucracy, I was very encouraged. When it became apparent from Loui that the proposal had been accepted in all of its basics, I was elated. It was no surprise to me that Loui went on to ask me to serve as the first dean, a position I subsequently held until July, 2007. I responded instantly with an expression of gratitude and a list of conditions, emphasizing an adequate operating budget, staff, and the appointment of a College Councilvii. I also committed myself to work 50% of full time on putting the College together, although I felt that ultimately with proper staffing and organization, the deanship should take less than that. In reality, I soon learned that, in Michael Crow’s “New American University”, half-time meant twelve hours a day.
It was, in fact, fear that drove me from this point on. Not the fear of losing my pro bono job in the Crow administration, but the fear of the embarrassment that would be the consequence of failing to mount a successful college after all the folderol. What kept me awake at nights was wondering how on earth I was going to make it happen. But reassurance always came from confidence that the Provost also did not want egg on his face, and from the sustaining and expert support of my colleagues. So, without missing a beat and with a great deal of bravado, I started holding Council meetings.
Among the issues addressed immediately were hiring an administrative assistant, inviting founding members, seeking office space, and organizing the Emeritus Writing Center, our first focused activity. We also began looking into a logo and a professional quality website. At our first meeting on November 18, 2004, I also set up committees for writing bylaws, planning a ceremonial College inauguration, and organizing the centers we had listed in our proposal.viii
Working closely with Loui Olivas, we were rapidly able to set up a candidate interview and hire Maureen Graff as a half-time Administrative Assistant. Before she started work, we were given temporary use of a vacant suite of offices on the third floor of the Administration annex, previously occupied by the BioDesign Center. The Provost’s IT people were just down the hall and we established a close relationship with them that was useful in putting together a website that met university standards. Everything seemed to be falling into place.
I had from the beginning realized the importance of developing a brand for the College that we could display with pride and confidence when we approached prospective members and donors. I was thus intent on developing a logo as soon as possible. The symbolism of a gray mortarboard for retired scholars had struck me several months before, but I anticipated from experience that it would likely take months or years to get something developed through normal channels. Knowing full well that logos had to have official university approval (by the “logo police”, as they are known throughout campusix), I produced my own rather lame digital graphic and began to use it publicly. As expected, it didn’t take long before I received a “cease and desist” request from the authorities and got an immediate appointment with university graphics artists. Our attractive gray, maroon, and gold mortarboard logo in several approved forms, including web site, E-card, and PowerPoint backgrounds, was the expedited result.
The logo story typifies the entire process of forming the College. I learned early on, that in the current ASU administrative atmosphere, you could do just about anything you wanted if: (a) it improved the University, (b) you did it fast enough, and (c) you could get it to work. But talking and dithering would mean sure death to an enterprise. “Making it up as you go” is not considered an appropriate methodology in many endeavors, but if you have a vision you can focus on, then improvising the details as you strive toward it will breed success and respect in a community of doers.
Although we were officially in business the previous November, the Emeritus College Arizona State University was ceremonially inaugurated at a convocation and party on July 8, 2005. The four years since then have been an adventure in which growth of membership and programs has solidified the College’s footing within the University. Having written a brief and highly personal account of its founding, I now leave it to more formal historians to recount its maturation and subsequent success.
When one has devoted one’s entire career to a single university, there is a particular desire to assess one’s contributions, not only to one’s department and discipline, but to the institution as a whole. I retired feeling that I had done my part in some modest ways: development of the College of Liberal Arts Honors Program into a campus-wide enterprise, leading to the currently very successful Barrett Honors College; the establishment of the University Club; service on the Faculty Senate and countless committees. But it had never occurred to me that the contribution which would give me the greatest sense of satisfaction would not even be undertaken until after retirement. Teachers keep files of letters from ex students which reassure them, that in spite of day-to-day frustrations, their work is ultimately valued. I am grateful for the additional letters in my file from colleagues who have expressed their thanks for renewed opportunities to remain lively in their minds and talents. My letter to myself resides paramount among them, for it is with a great deal of self interest that I initiated and pursued the idea of an Emeritus College. Because of the opportunities it has afforded me to teach, study, collaborate, and create, I have, over the past six years, felt more alive than at any time during the previous decade. Thank you Michael Crow, colleagues, and ASU.
ii The initial draft proposal, dated July 31, 2003:
Arizona State University is still viewed to be a very young institution. During its years of most rapid growth, the same could be said of its faculty. However, that same growth rate, coupled with budgetary constraints over the past two decades, has resulted in a substantial graying of the faculty in most colleges and departments with a corresponding burgeoning of the ranks of professors emeriti. At the same time, life expectancies have increased and studies on aging have shown that most retirees are capable of being intellectually and creatively productive for the bulk of their remaining lives.
We propose that the Faculty Emeriti Association (FEA) currently established at ASU be given an expanded definition as an Emeritus College (EC), similar to emeritus colleges and centers at other universities such as Emory, Cornell, Vanderbilt, etc.
An Emeritus College would serve the University, the community, and the affiliated emeriti in numerous important ways in addition to those already part of the FEA program. Benefits to the University could include:
• Continued association with productive scientists, scholars, and artists who have retired from their faculty positions but not from their disciplines.
• Teaching resources for “filling in” the gaps left by illness, sabbaticals or budgetary shortfalls.
• Mentoring of junior faculty.
• Student advisement.
• Freshman seminars.
• Collections and archives curators.
• Department historians.
The community would benefit from:
• Public lecture or performance series.
• Expert consultant resources.
The individual retiree would have:
• Opportunities to lecture, teach, or perform.
• Lecture series and other regularly scheduled activities.
• Classes and organized tours for emeriti and spouses.
• Continued engagement with the university community.
• University sponsorship of research grant proposals.
• Up-to-date information on political and financial issues of interest to retirees.
The above are not exhaustive lists of benefits.
Several of the opportunities described above are available to emeriti on an individual basis through informal arrangements with deans and department chairs. An Emeritus College would, at the least, provide a coherent clearing house of information about emeritus resources. It would further initiate and sponsor activities for emeriti and spouses. And, although the question of remuneration for some services provided would be determined on a case-by-case basis, the EC could represent the emeriti in the establishment of institution-wide policies governing remuneration and other relevant issues. We propose that the administration of the EC be under the direction of a Dean, appointed from the ranks of emeriti to serve at $1 per year, and a paid full time Administrative Assistant. The EC Dean would answer directly to the University Provost. Office space and equipment would be optimal for the mission of the EC. No other staff or facilities are envisioned.
Richard (Dick) Jacob was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the University of Utah. He joined the faculty at Arizona State in 1963, and retired as Professor Emeritus of Physics in 2001. During his tenure, he served a five-year term as Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He was Director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Honors Program from 1976 to 1978, and served a term as President of the Independent Faculty Association. He was also the first President of the University Club Board of Directors. In 2004, he became Founding Dean of the Emeritus College at ASU.