Redefining Academic Retirement: Johns Hopkins School of Arts and Sciences Launches Institute for Retired Professors

In an effort to underscore the importance of research among retired faculty of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, President Ronald J. Daniels and Dean Katherine S. Newman today announced the launch of The Academy at Johns Hopkins. The Academy is an institute for advanced study, where retired professors can pursue research opportunities, conduct and attend academic seminars, and explore other opportunities for continued scholarship.

“Dedication to unceasing exploration lies at the core of our University and the Academy embodies that spirit of life-long learning to the fullest.” says Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels, “It recognizes our emeriti’s continued intellectual achievements, ensures the inspiration of future scholars, and fosters Johns Hopkins’ ongoing pursuit of excellence.”

Katherine S. Newman, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, says she is pleased Johns Hopkins has been able to establish a venue for retired faculty members. “Our retired colleagues are actively engaged in their scholarly work and remain a vital element of the University’s intellectual community. For academics, the Academy is everything retirement should be.”

All current tenured faculty members will be eligible, upon their retirement, for membership in the Academy. They can declare their intention to retire and become “Academy Professors,” a new title designated by Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Academic Council, as of December 1, 2011. Membership benefits include an annual research allowance of $2,000; office space; support for seminars, lectures, workshops, visiting professors, and speaker series; full library privileges; and occasional classroom teaching opportunities.

“Retired faculty members often lose connection with the university sooner than they might otherwise, despite their continued scholarly activity,” says Betsy Bryan, the Alexander Badawy Chair in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and co-chair of the Academy Planning Committee, which Newman formed in early 2011 to devise ways to strengthen connections with the School of Arts and Sciences and its emeritus professors. “The Academy will enable the entire Johns Hopkins community to benefit from the involvement of retired faculty on campus.”

A building in the heart of the campus called the Greenhouse, which is adjacent to the residence of the University president and across from Gilman Hall, will be renovated to be the new home of The Academy at Johns Hopkins.

“I’m so pleased that we will be able to turn the Greenhouse and the brick buildings connected to it into a truly stately home for the Academy, befitting the stature of the professoriate who will be working there,” says Newman. Architectural drawings and progress reports on the renovations will periodically be posted on the Academy website.

William Connolly, the Krieger Eisenhower Chair in the Department of Political Science and co-chair of the Academy Planning Committee, noted the Academy would be a novel addition to higher education. “Not only does it redefine retirement for our faculty members, but the Academy also provides an invaluable intellectual forum, instigated by its professors, that engages the larger Hopkins community.”