Professor Emeritus status

6/29/2011: (revised, corrected to note existence of the old rules and the fact that they are also illegal)

At some universities it’s automatic. At the University of Montana, it’s apparently subject to the petty whims of the faculty.

The UO Senate approved new rules in 2010, but the entire package was rejected by General Counsel Randy Geller because it included a clause for free parking, which state rules prohibit. (Sensibly – everyone needs to pitch in to help pay for the jocks’ new arena garage.)

Provost Bean says this means the old rules are still in force:

FROM: “James Bean”
DATE: May 11, 2011 13:46:44 PDT

The recommendation from the senate was deemed illegal and hence not
acted upon by the President. The old policy is still in force. …

That old policy is here. But it also includes the offending parking clause. So by Bean’s Randy Geller’s logic it’s also all illegal. So maybe the new policy was rejected because it ruled out emeritus status on the basis of administrative service – very inconvenient for UO President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer. Who knows.

So, currently, retiring professors must apparently rely on the patronage and whim of Academic Affairs VP Russ Tomlin. Russ can, apparently, even make the call on whether or not to cut off your email access – as UO did to Jean Stockard a few years ago.

This is not an acceptable situation. If you have more details on what is going on, please leave a comment.

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7 Responses to Professor Emeritus status

  1. Anonymous says:

    UO Matters is right. The process is broken. Surely it makes sense for ’emeritus’ status to be effective when one relinquishes rank and tenure on 15 June, but that is not the case. Distinguished faculty disappear down the rabbit hole. The problem is not a new one, it has been going on for years. And it is not just a question of parking. Access to banner students records, to blackboard, to research accounts are all at risk when one has no status. Nor are such faculty listed on the UO directory. I recall hearing that this happened also to Lorraine Davis years ago, but it still has not been fixed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Several aspects of the Emeritus business will be re-examined by the Committee when LIFE resumes in the Fall. Among these will be any issues deemed illegal by the GC. In the absence of a written legal opinion from the GC, this old committee member doesn’t know what to make of Jim’s remark regarding illegality.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anon. is correct. if you look at:

    you will see that on retirement, and without emeritus status, faculty lose access to blackboard, to their research accounts, etc. Rumor has it that 30 June is the critical day for retirees to lose access. It is not that the data disappears, but rather that one MAY not be able access it to advise students or to store research materials. Only when emeritus status is gained is the issue resolved. There are then real consequences to the failure to create a seamless transition.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dog on the Charlie Foxtrot principle:

    I think there is something additional going on
    in terms of this retirement/emeritus stuff.

    1. If your on a “600 hr” appointment you should retain regular access to your stuff during the terms of that appointment.

    2. Over the period June 15-June 30 2011 there has been mass confusion on a number of fronts in Oregon hall. Many faculty, including myself, have not had their summer term pay properly processed by staff over there (some new procedures went into effect on June 15 causing a collective clusterfuck response in Oregon Hall) and it was only yesterday, June 28
    that this got corrected.

    3. So I think this boils down to confusion over
    a retired person’s status during the summer term and not much more than that and chaos in
    Oregon hall.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Two random thoughts: 1) As a UO student I actively sought out courses offered by emeriti because they were no longer afraid to tell the truth. I suspect this has something to do with the deplorable treatment of our emeritus faculty and 2) I suspect Geller blurts out, “it’s illegal!” even in his most intimate, detached moments.

  6. Parking Queen says:

    Bean claims Geller canceled a Senate policy because he thought free parking was illegal? I doubt that was the real reason.


    “Emeritus parking permits are available free of charge to University faculty granted emeritus/emeriti status and to other retired University employees whose years of service and continuing connections with the University indicate such a benefit is appropriate.

    Application for emeriti permits must be made through a University department.”

  7. Anonymous says:

    5 July:
    For those who retired on 15 June 2011: there is now some movement on awarding emeritus status. If you retired on that date, please check your status at the FindPeople link off the UO main page. There are some unresolved issues, but there is some grounds for believing that the problems of the past will be resolved soon.

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