Wellesley Receives Award for Innovative Faculty Retirement Practices

June 19, 2012

The American Council on Education (ACE) and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation this week announced Wellesley College as one of 15 institutions selected to receive an $100,000 award for innovative work in faculty retirement. Wellesley demonstrated a best practice in three stages in culmination of faculty careers: the development of a legacy, the transition into retirement, and the continuing involvement of faculty in the academic community post-retirement.

“Wellesley’s award winning retirement programs are developed by an emeriti-faculty steering committee, which works closely with faculty who are nearing retirement to help ease their transition,” said Kathryn Lynch, dean of faculty affairs at Wellesley and the Katharine Lee Bates & Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English. “The committee provides a cohort to which retired faculty can belong, and has facilitated Wellesley College’s ability to define, formalize, and expand the college’s rights and privileges for emeriti faculty.”

Wellesley was also recognized for its excellent work in tracking faculty who utilize early and phased retirement programs, along with surveying faculty in all phases of retirement on their usage of transition supports. In addition, Wellesley faculty members are satisfied with their ability to participate in various campus legacy programs and culminating projects, retirement transition counseling, and other phasing and transitioning supports.

“With the generous support of the Sloan Foundation, ACE is pleased to recognize institutions like Wellesley for creating win-win solutions that involve faculty in meaningful ways before, during and after retirement,” said Gretchen Bataille, senior vice president for Leadership and Lifelong Learning at ACE.

“Our intent in funding these awards is to broaden the national conversation and the agenda within higher education to take into account the full scope of the culminating stage of faculty careers,” said Kathleen Christensen, Working Longer program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We are hopeful these award winning institutions can provide examples for our community of thoughtful approaches that can be modeled.”

Information on the other institutions honored, along with summaries of their award-winning activities, can be found on the ACE website. Each of the winners will draft a chapter about their campus practices to be included in an upcoming ACE monograph. They will also have the opportunity to disseminate their best practices at conferences and in other venues.

“Transitioning into retirement marks an important phase in a faculty career,” said Claire Van Ummersen, senior advisor and project director in ACE's Leadership and Lifelong Learning division. “These 15 colleges and universities are to be commended for their recognition of and positive actions in addressing this major milestone.”

About Wellesley College
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,400 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries.

About ACE
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, its Working Longer program is expanding understanding of aging Americans’ work patterns.



ACE: Ginnie Titterton, (202) 939-9368

Wellesley College:  Sofiya Cabalquinto (781) 283-3321, scabalqu@wellesley.edu OR

Anne Yu, 781-283-3201, ayu@wellesley.edu