In another interesting but ultimately meaningless list, AARP Magazine says colleges and universities account for nine of the top fifty employers for people aged 50-plus, and three of the top ten: George Mason University, MIT, and number one on the list, Cornell.
Reading the explanation of Cornell’s wonderfulness, I find a lot of items familiar to us in the higher education world, like excellent health and tuition benefits and generous 403 (B) contributions. (Presumably such perks were instituted when higher ed was a seller’s market and have been grandfathered in to the current one, which gets more buyer’s every year.) One area that seems top-notch up in Ithaca is retirement programs. The AARP says:
Opportunities for Retirees: Cornell currently has 3,850 retirees, and an employee directly responsible for maintaining retiree relations keeps in touch with them. Retirees receive university communications, are invited to events, are offered ongoing retirement planning, and are formally acknowledged when they retire. Retirees have library privileges for life. They also enjoy social, recreational events and volunteer opportunities. Additionally, retirees may take advantage of temporary work assignments, full- and part-time work, consulting, and telecommuting. Cornell allows retirees to work at the university while receiving their retiree benefits.
In my department at the University of Delaware, demographics and other factors have led the ranks of the emeritus faculty to grow rapidly, by at least one or two every year. But on retiring, my colleagues seem to vanish into the air. A couple of emeriti share an office on the top floor, but I see the rest only at other people’s retirement parties, if at all. Our faculty handbook has this paragraph about emeriti:
The names of emeritus faculty are carried in the University catalog. In addition they are invited to all convocations and formal exercises, and they continue to have faculty privileges at the University library.
There is no second paragraph.
Clearly, we have a lot of catching up to do.