Pathway to Retirement Agreements

UC Berkeley is pleased to offer a special option to faculty who intend to retire and would like to make a smooth transition from everyday expectations in research, teaching, and service to an engagement with the University that is tailored to their special circumstances. 

Pathway to Retirement Agreements are customizable, binding, mutual commitments signed by a faculty member, their chair and dean (as applicable), and the Vice Provost for the Faculty. These Agreements are made in language that, while somewhat technical, serves to record and clarify the ways in which both the faculty member and the University are binding themselves.  The purpose of a Pathway to Retirement Agreement is to create a multi-year period of transition that includes provisions before retirement as well as additional provisions after retirement.  Such provisions can help to ensure that emeriti continue to be warmly included in their academic communities as contributing scholars, teachers, and colleagues. 

Provisions Before Retirement

For those Senate faculty members (ladder faculty and LSOE) who sign a Pathway to Retirement agreement, tailored pre-separation provisions may be appropriate.  Provisions should be designed to support the specific transitional needs and interests of the individual faculty member who has decided irrevocably to separate within one or two years’ time.  The Pathway to Retirement Agreement should state clearly how each pre-separation provision serves this end.  The types of provisions below are illustrative; additional types may be proposed and considered by the signatories to the agreement. (Certain provisions are applicable to ladder faculty only.)

Changes in teaching assignments 

Changes in teaching assignments will normally be made only during the final one or two semesters of a faculty member’s active service.  Examples: 

  • Faculty members might be assigned to teach a particular course that is especially meaningful to them but that they would otherwise not have an opportunity to offer. 
  • Faculty members might replace teaching an assigned course with making broader, culminating contributions that could benefit students, for example, by organizing materials and collections for libraries, digital archives, or museums (ladder faculty only). 
  • Faculty members might replace classroom teaching of their own with service as a mentor or assessor of others teaching in the department (ladder faculty only). 

Changes in service assignments 

Depending upon their ability to meet their needs for service, departments may agree to make changes in departmental service assignments.  Examples: 

  • The department might agree to replace normal committee work with special service assignments drawing upon the faculty member’s career experience. 
  • The department might agree to taper departmental service assignments for faculty members who wish to redirect their efforts toward completing current research projects or initiating projects to be continued post-separation (ladder faculty only).  

Waiver of academic-personnel review requirements 

The Academic Personnel Manual mandates academic-personnel reviews at least every five years, in part to provide feedback that may be of use for future activities in research, teaching, and service.  Sometimes similar reviews after shorter periods of time are mandated by the campus.  If a faculty member has executed a Pathway to Retirement agreement to separate, a waiver of any mandated review subsequent to the signing date of the agreement may be considered.

Provisions After Retirement

When faculty members decide that they wish to enter into a Pathway to Retirement Agreement, the agreement may include not just provisions for one or two years prior to their separation but also may include provisions for one to three years subsequent to their separation.  This option enables faculty members to work with their departments to design a more comprehensive plan for a smooth transition from pre-retirement activities to post-retirement activities.  

The Pathway to Retirement Agreement should state clearly how each post-separation provision serves this end.  The types of provisions below are illustrative; additional types may be proposed and considered by the signatories to the agreement.

Office and research space 

The signatories of a Pathway Agreement should take into account the space needs and interests of the faculty member as well as the space available to the department. Provisions in a Pathway agreement concerning space should conform to Berkeley campus policies on allocating office space and (for ladder faculty) research space to emeriti.    

Recall appointments

Faculty who wish to continue teaching, service, or (for ladder faculty) research after retirement can include recall provisions in a Pathway Agreement. Central campus funding for recall appointments is available under specific circumstances. Deans and chairs may choose to provide additional funding for recall compensation from their own resources. Per Section 205 of the Academic Personnel Manual, emeriti can be recalled up to but not exceeding 43% of full-time effort (whether for teaching, research, and/or service).

Professor of the Graduate School (ladder faculty only)

Emeriti who wish to continue their engagement with the graduate program may be eligible for appointment as Professor of the Graduate School (PGS).  A Pathway to Retirement agreement may provide that the PGS appointment process will be initiated at a specified time.  

BEAR Funding (ladder faculty only)

Pathway to Retirement agreements may include a provision to replace BEAR research funding that is swept upon retirement, up to a cap of $8K.

Central Funding for Recall Appointments

Many faculty wish to be active in contributing to the campus after they retire. Sometimes these activities are uncompensated. The information below assists faculty, chairs, and deans in drawing up Pathway to Retirement Agreements which include compensated recall appointments for faculty members who are anticipating retirement.

General policies on faculty recall

  1. All compensation for recalled emeriti is compensation for work performed. Thus it is essential that the nature of the work be specified, that an appropriate percentage of full-time effort be specified, and that the value of the work to Berkeley be clear.
  2. Total recall compensation across all categories of work and from all funding sources can be no more than 43% per month of the faculty member’s annualized academic-year salary at the time of separation, per Section 205 of the Academic Personnel Manual.  
  3. Responsibility for ensuring that recall provisions conform to these policies rests with the faculty member and their home unit.

Central funding for recall

A limited amount of centrally provided funding is available to support recall appointments for faculty who wish to be recalled to teach or provide service in the first 1–2 years after retirement. (Deans and chairs may also provide funding for recall compensation from their own resources.)

Central funding for faculty recall appointments is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The recall terms are spelled out in a Pathway to Retirement agreement.  (The reason for this restriction is so that the Vice Provost for the Faculty can review and approve commitments of central campus funds.)
  2. Compensation covers no more than twelve months. Those twelve months need not be successive, but must occur within the two years immediately following retirement. 

Recall for teaching

The following provisions apply specifically to centrally funded recall teaching:

  1. Up to $4,000 per unit will be provided for each course taught on recall, provided that
    1. the course meets at least once per week at a scheduled day and time with a fixed number of units, and
    2. the course enrollments meet the campus minimum levels (12 students for undergraduate lower-division courses, eight students for upper-division courses, and four students for graduate courses).
  2. Central funding for courses co-taught with another instructor will be provided on a pro rata basis corresponding to the share of the course taught by the recalled faculty member.
  3. Divisional requests for central funding must be accompanied by supporting documentation identifying the course(s) taught, semester, instructor(s) and demonstrating compliance with the above provisions.  This documentation should be provided from campus-based systems, such as the Berkeley Academic Guide (course catalog) and Cal Answers enrollment management dashboards.  Requests for reimbursement (with appropriate documentation) should be sent to APPolicy@berkeley.edu.
  4. Campus funding provided under this program will be independent from TAS provisions.

For purposes of calculating the extent to which compensation for recall teaching contributes toward the monthly recall cap, be aware that compensation for teaching a one-semester course is paid out in five equal monthly installments. For example, if a retired faculty member teaches one four-unit, one-semester course meeting the requirements above, the unit would receive campus funding totaling $16,000 toward the costs of recall compensation provided to the faculty member.  If the unit were making no additional contribution to the faculty member’s compensation for the teaching recall, then the faculty member would receive $3,200 per month in each of five months for teaching.

Recall for departmental or school-level service

Central campus funding may be available for service recall that is included in a Pathway Agreement. The nature of the recall service should be clearly defined, its value should be explained, and the time-commitment involved should be specified.  Campus contributions for service recall are capped at $2,000 per month, and will cover a maximum of 12 months (as is also true for recall teaching; see above).

Recall for research

The central campus will not provide funds for research recall, but other suitable fund-sources may be drawn upon (e.g. external grants).

Revised May 2021

Consultation

The Faculty Late Career and Retirement Liaison (sdavis@berkeley.edu) is available to faculty members and department chairs for confidential discussions about possible Pathway to Retirement provisions.