Academic Council

Authorizes Release:

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Responsible Area:

Academic Affairs

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

May 2024

Related Policies and Additional References:



Eligibility. Tenured faculty members who are in a full-time teaching status, who (1) have completed at least ten (10) years of full time teaching service at St. Mary’s University and (2) reached the age of 62 are eligible to apply for Phased Retirement. Participation is strictly voluntary.

Timing of application. To apply, an eligible faculty member should prepare a written request to the Dean of the applicant’s school (the “Dean”). Faculty may choose to voluntary phased retirement through one of two routes:

  1. Faculty may apply to enter into year one of voluntary phased retirement beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year by submitting an application by July 19, 2024.
  2. By submitting an application by August 15th for the year preceding the beginning of academic year for which the applicant requests to begin the Phased Retirement. For example, if a faculty member wishes to start a phased retirement in fall 2025, the faculty member would apply for consideration by August 15, 2024. This deadline facilitates planning for course coverage. The Dean has discretion to consider applications submitted at other times.

Form and contents of application. The request, which can be in the form of a letter or e-mail, should express intent to enter into a phased-in retirement agreement, should state proposed starting and ending dates, and should describe proposed activities, in terms of teaching, scholarship, and service, during the phase-in period, including whether the teaching load will be spread over the academic year or concentrated in one semester.

Phase-in period. A faculty member may opt to transition from a full teaching load to retirement over a phase-in period of one or two years, in accordance with the Phased Retirement Plan Options Table (“Retirement Table”) attached hereto.

Written agreement. The faculty member and Dean shall execute a written agreement setting out the terms of the phased-in retirement. The faculty member will have 30 calendar days to consider the agreement.

University approval. Phased-in retirement agreements must be approved by the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs in writing.

Tenure and Related Matters

Participation in Phased Retirement leads to retirement and the end of employment and the end of tenure at the conclusion of the phase-in period.

Status and Rank. The faculty shall retain status as a full-time member of the faculty during the phase-in period. During the phase-in period, the faculty member will retain the faculty rank (assistant, associate or full professor) that the faculty member possessed prior to the beginning of the phase-in period.

Compensation During Phase-in Period

The compensation for a participant in the phase-in period will be that percentage of full compensation described in the Retirement Table. Full compensation means the amount that the faculty would be compensated during the applicable year had the faculty member maintained a full teaching load, including any adjustments that would have been applied to such faculty member’s salary. The full teaching load is that number of credit hours of teaching per academic year which is considered a standard full teaching load for the faculty member’s department or program. Typically, faculty fulfill the full teaching load by teaching courses or by engaging in other duties for the university, the school, or the department that entitle the faculty member to receive course releases.

Salary Increases. A participant will be entitled to consideration for pay raises consistent with the pay raises for other full time faculty in accordance with the policies and procedures for determining pay raises in the faculty member’s school.

Scholarship grants, summer teaching, and development funds. A participant will be not be eligible to receive a scholarship grant or research stipend or any other form of remuneration from a fund set aside for distribution to faculty for scholarship support. The faculty member may continue to receive any individual faculty development funds generally provided to full-time faculty in the faculty member’s school as part of his or her annual compensation package. The faculty member may teach during the summer, either during the on-campus program or in a study-abroad program and receive the same summer rate as other faculty members. Access to research assistants and administrative support shall continue as available.

Benefits. Except as otherwise provided in this section 3.D., a participant shall remain eligible to participate in university benefits (including deferred compensation and health benefits) as a full-time faculty member, in accordance with the terms of the applicable plan documents. A participant who has reached the age of 59 1⁄2 may elect to receive distributions from the participant’s 403(b) deferred compensation plan. A participant who has reached the age of 70 1⁄2 may elect to receive distributions from the participant’s 457 deferred compensation plan.

All benefit participation components of this policy are subject to and governed exclusively by the applicable benefit plan terms and laws governing these plans, including any plan amendment or change in law. Before initiating participation, faculty members considering phased retirement are encouraged to both meet with Human Resources and consult a tax advisor. In the event of conflict between this policy and the actual benefit plan terms, the benefit plan terms will in all cases prevail. (amended 4/09/2010 to permit distributions from deferred compensation plans).

Part-time teaching after retirement. After the conclusion of the phase-in period, a retired faculty member may teach on a part-time basis, if the Dean agrees, the teaching meets a curricular need, and the budget to pay the retired faculty member is available.

Workload During Phased-in Period

Teaching. A participant will be expected to teach the percentage of a full teaching load described in the Retirement Table. The courses may be taught in the same semester, if approved by the Dean.

Advising. Unless otherwise agreed by the Dean, a participant’s advising load will be commensurate with the faculty member’s class load.

Sabbaticals and leaves. A participant will not be eligible for a sabbatical or paid leave. A participant may be eligible for an unpaid leave, subject to approval by the Dean. Time spent on unpaid leave of absence shall not count as part of the Phase-in Period.

Chairs and Administrative Appointments. During the Phase-in Period, the participant will typically not be eligible to hold a chair or administrative appointment, absent unusual and compelling circumstances warranting such an appointment and the agreement of the Dean to permit it. The level and extent of service on school committees and engagement in other faculty activities (other than advising) will be negotiated by and between the faculty member and the Dean, but should be proportionate to teaching load.

Office Space, Parking and Support Services. A participant will normally be entitled to office space, faculty administrative support, and other support services normally provided to full-time faculty members. However, a participant with half time teaching load or less may be required to share office space with other member(s) of the faculty. A participant who continues to advise students shall have first priority for office space as compared to participants who have opted out of providing advising. Parking and library privileges will continue. Administrative support shall be provided as available. Upon retirement the retired faculty member will be entitled to such facilities as are generally made available for retired faculty members (e.g., access to AACC, e-mail account, library, faculty parking, complimentary coffee, and admission to athletic events.)


The University retains the right to modify this Voluntary Phased Retirement Plan. The Plan may be reviewed, modified or terminated at any time without affecting already existing arrangements. Participation in the Program does no confer any additional employment rights upon the participant.

Phased Retirement Plan Options
PlanYear 1 Pay and Load PercentYear 2 Pay and Load Percent
1-year Plan100 / 50N/A
2-year Plan75 / 5050 / 50
Pay % = percent of full compensation payable load % = percent of full-time teaching load. 
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