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American Council on Education and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Honor Bentley for Innovative Work in Faculty Retirement with $100,000 Grant

Contact: Michele Walsh, 781-891-2070, mwalsh@bentley.edu

June 21, 2012

Bentley University is among 15 institutions honored for innovative work in faculty retirement.  Bentley demonstrated a “best practice” with a phased approach to the three stages of faculty careers: the development of a legacy, the transition into retirement, and the continuing involvement of faculty in the academic community post-retirement.

Established in 2004, Bentley’s Phased Retirement Program includes one-, two-, and three-year phase-out options with varying salary and work commitments, depending on the option chosen. In the One-Year phase-out program, retiring faculty members typically maintain a work commitment equivalent to one course per semester in exchange for full compensation. In Two-Year phase-out, a retiring faculty member maintains a half-time work commitment for full salary. Faculty on Three-Year phase-outs work two thirds time for full salary or one third-time for two-third compensation.

In 2008, Bentley introduced greater flexibility in how the options were implemented. This increased flexibility allows retiring faculty and academic departments to propose a more creative distribution of  the work commitments related to teaching, service, and scholarship to better meet the needs of the faculty member, the department, and the university.

“Because workload is more than just the number of courses taught per year…activities that constitute a half or two-thirds time load may now vary to meet the needs of individual faculty, their department, or Bentley.” says Stacy Bradbury, director of HR Consulting and Compliance. “Transitions can be designed to fit a combination of interests and needs on a one-year, two-year, or three-year schedule. This flexibility aids in the retirement adjustment process and allows faculty members to transition gradually into retirement rather than making an abrupt shift.”

“Our intent in funding these awards is to broaden the national conversation and the agenda within higher education to take into account the full scope of the culminating stage of faculty careers,” said Kathleen Christensen, Working Longer program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We are hopeful these award-winning institutions can provide examples for our community of thoughtful approaches that can be modeled.”

“Transitioning into retirement marks an important phase in a faculty career,” Senior Advisor and Project Director Claire Van Ummersen said. “These 15 colleges and universities are to be commended for their recognition of and positive actions in addressing this major milestone.”

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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