About the Academy: Redefining Academic Retirement

L to R: Joseph Cooper (political science), Richard Conn Henry (physics and astronomy), Sara Berry (history), Melvin Kohn (sociology), Ludwig Brand (biology), and Paul Feldman (physics and astronomy).

What is the Academy at Johns Hopkins?

The Academy at Johns Hopkins is an institute for advanced study whose purpose is to foster the continued scholarship and research of retired faculty of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS). We regard the faculty within the Academy as a rich source of knowledge and experience and a vital element of the University’s intellectual community.

Scholarly activity of the Academy will include research opportunities and benefits, valedictory lectures given by new Academy members, inaugural lectures by newly tenured faculty of the KSAS, and regular themed seminars organized by Academy professors.

The retired faculty of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences is one of its greatest assets. The entire University community benefits from their involvement on campus, both with each other and with current faculty and students. Many retired faculty choose to remain actively engaged in their scholarship after they retire, and they prefer to pursue their scholarly activities within the context of the University community. Others wish to stay involved by attending lectures, contributing to and following new developments in fields of interest. To provide that context, KSAS has established The Academy at Johns Hopkins. The mission of the Academy is to enhance the voluntary participation of retired faculty in the intellectual life of the University.

Who can be a member of the Academy?

All current members of the tenured faculty of KSAS who are eligible to retire from Johns Hopkins University (i.e., are age 55 and have 10 or more years of service or have 30 years of service regardless of age) are eligible for appointment to the Academy.

Additional criteria for appointment include an intention to participate in the activities of the Academy and a plan to continue a research program or pursue a research or scholarly interest.

Click here to download the enrollment form.

When can faculty become members?

Appointments to the Academy will be made beginning July 1, 2012.

What title will members of the Academy have?

Members of the Academy will be given the title of “Academy professor.” This is a title reserved for individuals who have retired from the full-time tenured faculty of KSAS and does not carry salary. Academy professors are permitted to submit grant applications, indicating the ongoing research role of titleholders. Academy professors may simultaneously hold the title of emeritus professor.

Are Academy professors paid?

No. The Academy professor title is a part-time, unpaid title. Members of the Academy, who are retired from the full-time faculty, have no teaching or service obligations to the University. If a member of the Academy and his/her respective academic department agree that the member will teach, there will be a separate agreement with the dean for that activity. Similarly, if an Academy member receives salary support under a sponsored research agreement, there will be a separate agreement with the dean for that activity.

What are the benefits of being a member of the Academy?

  • An annual research allowance is available for all active members. In FY 2012–13, the first year of the Academy’s operation, the research allowance will be set at $2,000. This includes a $1,000 carry-forward option for up to two years if Academy professors want to save for a more costly research trip or additional expenses. The research allowance will be available for a maximum period of 10 years. The research fund may be used at the Academy professor’s discretion to support the purchase of books, journal subscriptions, equipment and supplies, attendance at meetings, or similar expenses incurred in connection with scholarly activities. The fund will be made available annually for as long as the individual maintains an active appointment as an Academy professor. If an Academy faculty member has not used his/her allowance to support meaningful scholarly activity for a period of two years, the allowance will terminate.
  • The Academy will have an annual budget, which will support seminars on members’ research, inaugural lectures of the tenured faculty, special-topic seminars with visiting members, a colloquium series of visiting speakers, and co-sponsored workshops and seminars with departments.
  • All Academy members will have full library privileges and e-mail.
  • Part-time administrative support will be provided for the Academy’s functions.

Are retired tenured faculty members who retired prior to June 1, 2012, eligible for membership in the Academy?

Tenured faculty members who retired before 2010 are invited to participate in the activities of the Academy, but will not be eligible for the research allowance or the title of Academy professor. All tenured KSAS faculty who retired in 2010 and after are eligible for full participation in the Academy, including the title Academy professor and the research allowance. However, only tenured KSAS faculty who elect retirement on or after December 1, 2011, are eligible for the Health Care Incentive Stipend.

What about health care insurance?

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences is offering a Health Care Incentive Stipend to its tenured, full-time faculty members age 65 and above who are eligible to retire from the University with a minimum of 10 years of continuous, full-time service as of the date of retirement and who retire and join the Academy. The incentive is a cash stipend of $4,000 per year, which is designed to help close the gap between the current cost of retiree health insurance and the current cost of full-time faculty health insurance. This benefit will be available to tenured KSAS faculty who retire between the ages of 65 and 68 for a period of 10 years; for tenured KSAS faculty who retire between the ages of 69 and 70 for five years; and for those who retire after age 70 for three years. Tenured KSAS faculty members age 65 and above who sign retirement agreements between December 1, 2011, and June 1, 2012, will receive this benefit for 10 years. Payment of the stipend is conditioned on the eligible faculty member maintaining an active appointment as an Academy professor. Individual faculty members are encouraged to contact the Benefits Service Center to understand health insurance options in retirement.

If I have already signed a retirement agreement with the dean’s office, am I still able to enroll in the Academy at the actual time of my retirement and be eligible for the 10-year Health Incentive Stipend?

Any tenured faculty member age 65 and above and who retires before July 1, 2012, may enroll in the Health Care Incentive Stipend at any time through June 1, 2012, and be eligible to receive the benefit for 10 years provided they remain active members of the Academy for those 10 years. Those faculty who have retirement agreements in place with retirement dates effective after July 1, 2012, may change their retirement date to some time before July 1, 2012, if they choose to do so. Changing the date of retirement may affect the specific terms of the agreements, and faculty members who have retirement agreements should give careful consideration to whether they are better off with the terms of their original agreements or by changing their retirement date.

For tenured faculty who retire after July 1, 2012, elect to join the Academy, and are eligible for the Health Care Incentive Stipend, the period of time for which they may receive the benefit will be determined by their age at their retirement date. Thus, faculty who are 65–68 on the date of retirement may receive the benefit for up to 10 years; those who are 69–70 on the date of retirement may receive the benefit for up to 5 years; and those who are over 70 on the date of retirement may receive the benefit for up to 3 years.

Will the Academy and its benefits affect my retirement options and benefits?

No. Any faculty members considering retirement should consult with the Benefits Service Center to discuss their benefits in retirement. Faculty also routinely consult department chairs and the dean’s office in planning for their retirement, and that will continue to be the case.

Who will oversee the Academy?

A governing board with representation from each of the three KSAS divisions—at present, the sciences, social sciences, and humanities—will oversee the Academy. A rotating chair of the Academy will be chosen by its members and will report to the dean of the Krieger School. The chair’s term of rotation will be two years.

How long can an Academy professor remain a member of the Academy?

Initial appointments to the Academy will be three years in duration and may be renewed annually thereafter. Eligibility for participation continues for 10 years, provided the retired faculty member is an active participant in the Academy and using his/her research allowance. A two-year period with no activity will be considered a sign of non-participation.

Will there be a physical space for the Academy?

Yes. The Greenhouse, which is adjacent to the president’s residence at Nichol’s House and just behind Gilman Hall, will be renovated to become the new home of the Academy at Johns Hopkins. The Greenhouse and the brick buildings connected to it on either side will be transformed into a stately home for the Academy, befitting the stature of the retired professoriate who will be working there. Architectural drawings and progress reports on the renovations will be posted on the Academy web site periodically.

What about office space? Will Academy members be able to maintain offices on campus?

Space permitting, we intend to provide all Academy professors with shared office space on campus. Many retired faculty members prefer to remain in their home departments, close to labs and a community based on disciplinary tradition. Office space in departments is determined by the chairs. Other Academy professors may prefer to locate in the Academy building, which will house more than 20 offices, allocated by its governing board. The Academy building will also feature attractive common space for use by members and other participants in seminars and activities associated with it.

Will we be able to invite visitors from other universities?

The Academy will be able to host up to four retired visiting scholars from other universities, who will be given office space on campus, most likely in the Academy building, and who will be the centerpiece of thematic seminars. These appointments are expected to be for one year, as they are at other institutes for advanced study, though in exceptional circumstances detailed by the Academy’s leadership, this might be extended for a second year. They carry no salary, but visiting professors are provided with a faculty research allowance. They might also be invited by department chairs to teach, but this is not required.

Is there a difference between emeritus faculty and Academy professors?

Yes. The two are not interchangeable. The rank of emeritus is voted by members of the “home” academic department and the Academic Council in recognition of distinguished scholarship and service to the University, but carries no expectations for participation in University affairs or continued research. Members of the Academy are expected to participate actively in the programs and activities of the Academy.

Will there be parking for Academy members?

Members of the Academy will be able to retain their existing parking arrangements, space permitting. We are working to secure some limited parking behind the Academy building once it is renovated, which would be reserved for the chair of the Academy and for members who might require special access.