Uncategorized | 11:00 am | December 7, 2009 | By Vivian Yee

Cantabs short $11 billion, and soon, up to 180 profs

Harvard University could be losing up to 180 professors in the next four years with its new formal retirement program, the Boston Globe reported last week.

The university will offer voluntary retirement packages to 180 professors — 127 from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the rest from the medical school, divinity school, school of education and school of public health. The 180 eligible faculty, who must be older than 65 and who must have taught at Harvard for at least a decade to accept a retirement package, can choose to retire in one, two or four years. Depending on which time frame they choose, they can gradually decrease their teaching load while drawing a reduced salary. A Harvard spokesman told the Boston Globe the program won’t result in any short-term savings for the FAS, though there may be long-term savings.

The program is the first formal voluntary retirement program in the FAS’s history, and it could cut the school’s faculty by as much as 18 percent if every professor who is eligible for the program opts in without being replaced.

  • ’98

    Doesn’t mean they’ll be “losing 180 professors” but simply that a number of the old geezers will be given incentive to step aside, with many (presumably) to be replaced by younger, more energetic (and cheaper) replacements.

    Many colleges have been struggling with this problem ever since federal rules were changed to bar mandatory retirement rules. Far too many of the eldely profs (at Yale as well as at Harvard, etc.) hang on to their offices, salaries etc. while no longer knowing which side of the bagel to put the butter on.