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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education Appendix A Description of Study Methods In evaluating the potential effects of eliminating mandatory retirement for tenured faculty, the committee reviewed available evidence in three broad areas of concern: (1) faculty demographics and retirement behavior, (2) the effects of aging on faculty performance, and (3) financial and legal issues. The committee undertook a range of research activities relevant to all three areas as well as activities specific to each area. Table A-1 shows the committee's activities and their relationship to the issues covered in the report. This appendix briefly describes each of the activities. In planning, conducting, and assessing the results of the activities described in this appendix, committee members drew on their own years of experience as faculty, administrators, and trustees at a wide range of colleges and universities (see Appendix D). This experience was an essential element in the committee's deliberations and in the formulation of this report. ACTIVITIES RELEVANT TO ALL AREAS OF THE STUDY Several of the committee's activities were designed to address faculty retirement issues relevant to all areas of substantive interest. The most important of these was the seven 2-day meetings over a 15-month period at which the committee planned its study, oversaw its execution, and reached consensus on the results. The other activities relevant to all areas of the study served two general purposes: (1) to identify the full range of mandatory retirement issues in higher education and (2) to understand how faculty and higher education institutions make retirement policies and personal retirement decisions. They included preliminary site visits, presentations from interested organizations, letters from administrators and faculty, case studies, and a review of faculty retirement laws.
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education TABLE A-1 Committee Activities Activity Faculty Demographics and Behavior Aging, Tenure, and Evaluation Financial and Legal Issues Committee meetings (seven 2-day meetings) • • • Presentations to committee: AARP, AAU, AAUP, ACE, AFT, NASULGC. NEA, AACJC, AAMC, EEOCa • Letters of inquiry Campus presidents • • • Heads of faculty • • • State faculty retirement laws • Faculty retirement laws of other countries • Case studies • • • Workshops Faculty demographics and modeling • Aging and performance • Financial and legal issues • Commissioned papers Employee pension and benefit law • Retirement incentives and antidiscrimination law • Law pertaining to tenure, dismissal, and evaluation • • Costs of retirement incentive programs • Programs for retirees • Analyses of data and literature Faculty data bases and faculty retirement research • Aging and faculty performance evaluation • Benefit plans and retirement incentive programs • a See text for full names.
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education We began with a series of preliminary site visits. In the summer of 1989, prior to the committee's first meeting, the chair and staff visited six campuses and three multicampus system headquarters to talk with a few faculty and administrators about what issues, if any, they believed were raised by the possibility of eliminating mandatory retirement. During these visits we obtained the views of more than 30 administrators and faculty members, which were summarized for committee members at the first meeting. The 1986 amendments to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act called on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sponsor the committee's study. The amendments also named seven independent organizations especially interested in the committee's study: American Association of Retired Persons American Association of University Professors American Council on Education American Federation of Teachers Association of American Universities National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges National Education Association The committee invited the EEOC and these groups to send a representative to attend a committee meeting to present the agency's and the organizations' perspectives on mandatory retirement issues in higher education. In addition, the committee requested presentations from two other groups with special perspectives on faculty retirement policies and access to faculty retirement data: the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges and the Association of American Medical Schools. The committee found these presentations informative and helpful in identifying issues and as sources of information. The committee sent a letter of inquiry to a sample of college and university presidents and faculty, soliciting their views on key issues related mandatory retirement. The committee developed a list of issues on the basis of presentations of preliminary site visits and members' own experience as faculty members, administrators, and trustees: impact on hiring young faculty members; impact on hiring women and minority faculty members; reduction of faculty supply because of perceptions of a tight market; effect on faculty quality and individual performance; impact on ability to upgrade departments; impact on ability to keep good people; disciplines that would be seriously affected; cost to the institution for early retirement incentives; cost to the institution for large contributions to the retirement program;
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education limited flexibility to meet emerging opportunities; limited ability to reward personal growth, to cushion any decline in enrollment, and to plan transitions; impact on availability of faculty housing; ability to continue work and contributions; deterioration in department's environment, (i.e., less stimulating); effects on tenure rules; preservation of financial options for individual faculty members; and implications for performance evaluation. Committee staff drew a sample of 358 colleges and universities stratified by the six broad institutional classifications developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (see Appendix C for a more detailed discussion of the classifications). In order to ensure an adequate response from research universities, the sample included the 50 universities with the largest research and development spending and 12 other universities among the 50 institutions that grant the most doctorates annually but are not among the top 50 in research and development expenditures. The committee invited the presidents of each of the colleges and universities in the sample to comment on the list of issues included with the letter, to identify other important mandatory retirement issues, and to give their views on any other related topics. The committee also wanted to obtain the views of faculty members. Staff contacted each of the colleges and universities sampled to obtain the name and address of the head of the faculty senate or equivalent organization. The committee then sent a letter of inquiry and list of issues to faculty representatives at the 216 institutions at which such a person could be identified (142 of the 358 colleges and universities sampled reported they did not have a faculty senate or its equivalent). The committee sent follow-up letters and made phone calls to presidents and faculty representatives who did not respond to the initial letter. By the time the committee received its last letter in July 1990, more than 70 percent of the presidents and 40 percent of the faculty representatives had responded. We believe the difference in response rates between the two groups reflects the relatively greater administrative resources associated with the office of president and other logistical challenges in formulating a faculty response. The committee learned a great deal from the letters and by reviewing simple tabulations of issues mentioned in the responses. Among both presidents and faculty representatives, those from research universities were most likely to predict problems associated with the elimination of mandatory retirement; those from comprehensive and liberal arts colleges were least likely to predict difficulties. Many faculty senate heads believed that, on
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education the whole, faculty would benefit from the elimination of mandatory retirement. Some tempered their remarks by predicting that uncapping could lead to greater use of performance evaluation and could lead some institutions to question the continuing value of the tenure system. Many of the letters reflected thoughtful consideration of the issues. The committee found the letters useful in understanding the range of opinions in academia on issues related to mandatory retirement, and it drew on letter responses in developing its other activities. Comments from the letters are used to illustrate the committee's findings in the body of the report. As a way to supplement available information on how colleges and universities set retirement policies and how faculty make retirement decisions, the committee conducted case studies of 17 colleges and universities selected to represent a range of institutional types. (We refer to these institutions by their Carnegie category since we agreed not to report their names.) Although we could not hope to represent fully the more than 3,200 colleges and universities in the United States with a small number of case studies, the committee balanced its choice of case study institutions by type (i.e., different Carnegie categories), enrollment, geographic region, and control (public or private). The committee also selected some case study institutions on the basis of more specialized factors it wished to explore, such as historically black institutions, women's colleges, and private colleges affiliated with a church. Selections were based partly on exploratory site visits and letter survey responses, although not all case study institutions were part of the letter survey sample. Prior to each visit the committee asked the case study institution to provide the age distribution of its faculty, recent faculty retirement ages, data on faculty salaries by age, information on university or college retirement benefit policies, and, if relevant, retirement incentive programs and faculty evaluation policies. Staff, usually accompanied by committee members, visited each case study institution for 1 to 3 days, conducting a series of intensive, open-ended interviews with faculty and administrators. Following each campus visit, the site team confirmed its findings with the case study institution. The committee collected information on state laws governing faculty retirement ages and on laws governing faculty retirement in other industrial nations. The committee sent letters to the attorneys general in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, asking whether state law prohibited mandatory retirement of faculty at public or private colleges and universities in the state. Letters were followed where necessary with telephone calls to the attorney general's office or other state authorities to which the attorney general referred the inquiry—in most cases the state board of higher education or state university system office. If state offices could only verify that the state had or had not eliminated mandatory retirement for
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education public institutions, we also contacted a sample of private colleges and universities in the state to confirm the presence or absence of a state law eliminating mandatory retirement for faculty at private institutions. The committee was also able to draw on the results of an independent survey of mandatory retirement policies at public 4-year colleges and universities (Wilner, 1990). Figure 2 contains the results of this inquiry. The committee also reviewed the published literature on faculty retirement in other industrialized nations and sent a letter to faculty organizations in other countries requesting information on laws and rules governing faculty retirement (the American Association of University Professors provided a mailing list for this purpose). Of the five faculty organizations responding, four reported mandatory retirement ages below age 70 and the fifth, Canada, reported that some provinces had no mandatory retirement age, but the courts were reviewing the issue. The committee also learned that as part of the perestroika reforms, the Soviet Union had instituted a mandatory retirement age of 65 for senior scientists. FACULTY DEMOGRAPHICS AND RETIREMENT BEHAVIOR In order to understand current faculty retirement behavior and to assess the impact of possible changes in faculty retirement ages when mandatory retirement is eliminated, the committee held a workshop and carried out several special analyses. The workshop on faculty demographics and modeling brought members of the committee together with experts on higher education labor markets, faculty supply and demand modeling, and faculty data bases. Participants at the workshop discussed how faculty data bases might be used to gain an understanding of tenured faculty retirement patterns. The attendees were Jay Chronister, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Virginia Robert Dauffenbach, Office of Business and Economic Research, Oklahoma State University Alan Fechter, Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, National Research Council Michael Finn, Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, National Research Council Robert Jones, Institutional Planning Office, American Association of Medical Colleges Charlotte Kuh, Graduate Record Examination Board Robert McGinnis, Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research On the basis of the workshop results, the committee undertook an analysis of available data bases on faculty age distributions and retirement ages. The committee also reviewed the research literature focusing on faculty
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education retirement behavior, including recently completed and ongoing studies (e.g., Lozier and Dooris, 1988, 1989, and 1990; Rees and Smith, 1991). The committee also requested faculty retirement data from colleges and universities in states that have eliminated mandatory retirement for tenured faculty and from other institutions selected because the committee's research suggested their retirement patterns would be of interest. This latter group included a number of research universities. In order to estimate the effects of eliminating mandatory retirement on costs and faculty turnover, the committee made use of faculty flow models and data from three research universities. In two cases the university used its own model and data on its faculty age distribution, hiring patterns, and retirement behavior to project the effects of different assumptions about the proportion of faculty likely to work past age 70 if permitted to do so. In the third case the university provided faculty data and assumptions about the number of faculty likely to work past age 70, and staff analyzed the data using a model based on Biedenweg and Keenan (1989). FACULTY AGING, PERFORMANCE EVALUATION, AND TENURE The committee examined research on the effects of aging on faculty teaching and scholarship, the use of various types of performance evaluations in assessing teaching and scholarship, and the effects on tenure of eliminating mandatory retirement. The committee held a workshop for experts on aging and its effects. Discussion topics included research on the relationship between age and physiological and cognitive changes, aging and employment, and faculty aging. The committee drew on the results of this workshop as it conducted subsequent activities in this area. The attendees were Jeanne Bader, University of Minnesota James Birren, University of California, Los Angeles Howard Freeman, University of California, Los Angeles Steve Scallen, University of Minnesota K. Warner Schaie, Pennsylvania State University Sharon Smith, Project on Faculty Retirement, Princeton University Harvey Sterns, University of Akron Ellen Switkes, University of California Steven Weiland, University of Minnesota The committee analyzed the research literature on aging and performance in general and, when information was available, on aging and faculty teaching and research performance. Drawing in part on a parallel effort by the Committee on Performance Appraisal (National Research Council, 1991), the committee also assessed research on performance evaluation. As part of
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education a set of commissioned legal papers, the committee asked Arval Morris of the University of Washington School of Law to prepare a monograph on legal issues pertaining to tenure and faculty dismissal for unsatisfactory performance. Morris surveyed and analyzed laws and cases on tenure and faculty dismissal. FINANCIAL AND LEGAL ISSUES The committee recognized that college and university policies affect faculty retirement behavior, and the rules and regulations governing those policies partly determine how colleges and universities can respond to the elimination of mandatory retirement. Therefore, the committee conducted a number of activities focused on financial and legal aspects of college and university governance. The workshop on financial and legal issues gave committee members the opportunity to discuss legal and financial issues with experts in university finance, management, and governance. Workshop participants discussed pension plans, health benefits, retirement incentive programs, continued perquisites for retirees, and the effects of these programs on institutional budgets and faculty retirement decisions. The attendees were Albert Bowker, President Emeritus, City University of New York Paul Boymel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Deborah Chollet, Employee Benefit Research Institute Jay Chronister, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Virginia Craig Daniels, School of Arts and Sciences, Eastern Connecticut State University Joyce Fescke, Vice President for Human Resources, DePaul University Frederick Ford, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Purdue University Katherine Hanson, Consortium on Financing Higher Education Francis King, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund David Lewin, Director of Personnel Services, University of Kansas James Mauch, Professor of Administrative and Policy Studies, University of Pittsburgh Judith McMorrow, School of Law, Washington and Lee University Diane Oakley, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund Thomas O'Brien, School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Joseph Pettit, Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research, Georgetown University
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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education Robert Scott, Vice President for Finance, Harvard University Neil Smelser, University Professor, University of California Sharon Smith, Project on Faculty Retirement, Princeton University Harvey Sterns, Institute for Life Span Development and Gerontology, University of Akron Charles Stewart, Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, Washington, D.C. Robert Wilson, Vice President for Personnel Programs, Johns Hopkins University Robert Zemsky, Institute for Research on Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania Working with the American Association of University Professors and the American Association of Universities, the committee commissioned three papers on legal issues relevant to mandatory retirement. One was the paper by Arval Morris noted above. The second, by Lee Irish and Charles Stewart of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, covered institutional responses to the elimination of mandatory retirement. This paper examined employee pension and benefit laws and regulations as they affect faculty pension plans and retirement incentive programs. The third paper, by Judith McMorrow of Washington and Lee University, covered federal age discrimination laws and regulations and their effects on retirement incentive plans. As part of its workshop on financial and legal issues, the committee commissioned two background papers: ''Characteristics and Costs Related to the Provision of Incentive Early Retirement Plans for Faculty,'' by Jay Chronister of the University of Virginia, and "Looking Forward to Uncapping: A Pilot Inquiry into Costs of Faculty Retirement Benefits and Inducements," by James Mauch of the University of Pittsburgh. The committee marshalled and assessed information about the characteristics of higher education benefit plans, including pension programs, retirement health benefits, retirement incentive programs, and other retirement benefits, such as retirement planning assistance and perquisites for retirees. The committee supplemented its review of the literature on higher education benefit programs with information from pension plan providers, including TIAA-CREF and several state retirement systems, and from individual colleges and universities.
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