Descriptions: Professors Emeriti, Research Professor

(1)   Professors Emeriti

Emeritus status is not conferred automatically based on the fact of retirement alone. Rather, a faculty member is eligible for emeritus/a status upon retirement when the faculty member (a) retires from a tenured faculty, Professor of the Practice, or Professor in Residence position after faithful service (at its core, faithful service means service in keeping with Harvard’s fundamental institutional values), (b) has reached the age of 60 or more, and (c) has a minimum of five years of continuous service immediately preceding retirement.  If these conditions are determined to have been met, the faculty member is eligible to hold the title of Professor of [Department], emeritus/a upon retirement. If the individual held an endowed chair while active, that title may carry forward with the emeritus/a designation.

(2)   Research Professor

In accordance with FAS policies, the title “Research Professor” is available to individuals eligible for, or already holding, emeritus/a status. This title can be held for the five years immediately following retirement. Individuals who prefer this title, in lieu of the regular title of Professor Emerita or Professor Emeritus, should write to the Dean of the Faculty annually to state their planned research activities for the coming year.

The research professor title supersedes the regular title of Professor Emerita or Professor Emeritus during the period in which it is held, but research professors are eligible for all the privileges listed for Professors Emeriti Chapter 12, Section A. In the absence of the annual request for appointment, on specific request from the individual or at the end of the five-year period, the faculty member’s title will revert to the standard Emeritus/a designation.

(3)  Compensation

When a retired professor charges his/her/their salary on a grant, the maximum amount of salary that can be charged will be based on what the federal government calls the Institutional Base Salary (IBS). The IBS at the time of retirement is converted from the 9-month academic year to an annualized amount. This conversion consolidates the academic year and summer/supplemental months. For example, if a faculty member’s full-time, academic-year salary at the time of retirement was $150,000, his/her/their 12-month IBS would be $200,000. The salary should be set at the level of committed effort as indicated in the grant proposal/award. For example, if two calendar months of effort are budgeted, then the maximum salary to be charged to the grant would be 2/12ths of the IBS or, as in the example of the 12-month salary of $200,000 used above, $33,333.

The University’s medical plan rates, which are tiered based on salary and the plan an individual chooses, will, for retired faculty, be tiered based on the IBS, not on a faculty member’s part-time salary. This is consistent with how premiums are set for all other part-time employees. Please contact the Harvard Benefits Office at 617-496-4001 for further information.