December 12, 2011

Institute for retired faculty launched at Krieger School

Members of The Academy will have title of academic professor

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences has taken a significant step to retain the expertise, talents and wisdom of its distinguished veteran faculty.

In an effort to underscore the importance of research among retired Krieger School faculty, President Ronald J. Daniels and Dean Katherine S. Newman recently announced the establishment of The Academy at Johns Hopkins, an institute for advanced study through which retired professors in Arts and Sciences can pursue research opportunities, conduct and attend academic seminars, and explore other opportunities for continued scholarship.

“Dedication to unceasing exploration lies at the core of our university, and The Academy embodies that spirit of lifelong learning to the fullest,” Daniels said. “It recognizes our emeriti’s continued intellectual achievements, ensures the inspiration of future scholars and fosters Johns Hopkins’ ongoing pursuit of excellence.”

All current tenured Krieger School faculty will be eligible, upon their retirement, for membership and given the title academy professor, a new rank designated by the Homewood Academic Council. Academy professors may simultaneously hold the title of emeritus professor.

Appointments to The Academy will be made beginning July 1, 2012, the official launch date for the institute.

The Greenhouse, the first building to be built on the Homewood campus, will be renovated to provide a home for The Academy. It will be ready for occupancy next year.

Newman, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, formed an Academy Planning Committee in early 2011 and appointed faculty members to discuss the possibility that an institute for advanced study could create stronger connections between retired faculty and the university community. The committee was co-chaired by Betsy Bryan, the Alexander Badawy Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, and William Connolly, the  Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science.

The committee’s other members were Maurice Bessman, a professor emeritus in the Department of Biology; Jane Guyer, the George Armstrong Kelly Professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology; Richard Kagan, the Arthur Oncken Lovejoy Professor in the Department of History; and Warren Moos, a research professor in the Department of Physics.

Members of the Faculty Planning Committee and Dean Newman will host town hall meetings for anyone interested in The Academy from 1 to 2:30 p.m. today, Dec. 12, in 132 Gilman and again in early February (date and time TBA) to field questions.

Newman said that the academy professors will become a rich source of knowledge and experience, and a vital element of the university’s intellectual community.

“Our retired colleagues are actively engaged in their scholarly work and remain a vital element of the university’s intellectual community. For academics, The Academy is everything retirement should be,” Newman said.

Faculty over the age of 55 with 10 or more years of experience, or who have 30 years of experience regardless of age, can declare their intention to retire and become academy professors. Applications can be filed as of this month.

Additional criteria for appointment include an intention to participate in the activities of The Academy and a plan to continue a research program or pursue a research or scholarly interest.

Membership benefits include an annual research allowance of $2,000; shared office space if available in home departments or The Academy building, as determined by department chairs or The Academy’s governing committee; full library privileges; and administrative support. Tenured KSAS faculty who elect retirement on or after Dec. 1, 2011, are also eligible for a health care incentive stipend.

The research allowance, available for a maximum period of 10 years, may be used to support expenses incurred in connection with scholarly activities.

The Academy’s annual budget will support seminars, lectures, workshops, a speaker series and visiting members. The Academy will host up to four retired visiting scholars from other universities for one-year appointments.

A governing board with representation from the academic divisions of KSAS divisions will oversee The Academy. Members will choose a chair, to serve for two years, who will report to the dean of the Krieger School.

Initial appointments to The Academy will be three years in duration and may be renewed annually thereafter. Eligibility continues for 10 years, provided the retired faculty member is an active participant in The Academy.

Architectural drawings and progress reports on the Greenhouse’s renovations will be posted periodically on The Academy’s website, located at

“I’m so pleased that we will be able to turn the Greenhouse and the brick buildings connected to it into a truly stately home for The Academy, befitting the stature of the professoriate who will be working there,” Newman said of the facility, which is located behind Gilman Hall.

Bryan said that the committee wanted to look into ways to keep productive and talented faculty connected to Johns Hopkins.

“Retired faculty members often lose connection with the university sooner than they might otherwise, despite their continued scholarly activity,” Bryan said. “The Academy will enable the entire Johns Hopkins community to benefit from the involvement of retired faculty on campus.”

Connolly noted that The Academy would be a novel addition to higher education, as there is no other institute of its kind in the United States.

“Not only does it redefine retirement for our faculty members, but The Academy also provides an invaluable intellectual forum, instigated by its professors, that engages the larger Hopkins community,” he said.

Tenured faculty members who retired before 2010 are invited to participate in the activities of The Academy but will not be eligible for the research allowance or the title of academy professor.