In June, Xavier was named one of 15 schools nationally awarded a $100,000 grant from the American Council on Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for its innovative work in faculty retirement. The selected institutions are working together to share and enhance their best practices around three culminating stages of faculty careers: the development of a legacy, the transition into retirement and the continuing involvement of faculty in the University post-retirement.
As a Jesuit Catholic university, Xavier’s mission includes the Jesuit value of “cura personalis,” care for the whole person, which guides it to support employees along the various stages of their career paths. Retired faculty have been provided with a range of opportunities to stay engaged in the University, ranging from continuing to receive basketball tickets to being asked to temporarily fill administrative leadership roles during moments of restructuring.
Xavier also has a long practice of awarding a semester-long sabbatical to retiring faculty who have been at the University for 30 years or more. This is seen as a significant recognition of their impact in shaping the institution. The most promising retirement transition practice started in 2009 with “The Second 50,” a program that focuses on the second half of life.